Did Odisha Govt Report Lesser COVID Deaths? HC To Hear Plea On July 28

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Cuttack: The Orissa High Court will hear a petition on alleged under-counting of COVID-19 deaths in Odisha on June 28.

The HC, however, declined to entertain a plea to give the directive for a special audit of COVID deaths in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray fixed the date after the state government told the court that 4,925 people had succumbed to COVID in the state till July 15.

What Govt Said

In an affidavit filed on July 20, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) PK Mohapatra told the court that the government had carried a death audit process in all the districts.

According to the audit, Khurda topped the district-wise chart with 849 deaths. It was followed by Sundargarh (427), Ganjam (400), Cuttack (311) and Nayagarh (132).

While a total of 9,49,929 positive cases were registered till July 15, the maximum number was reported from Khurda (1,67,913), followed by Cuttack (82,826), Sundargarh (60,132), Puri (41,825) and Angul (41, 442), the affidavit added.

Review Panels

Earlier on July 5, the government had told the HC that district-level committees were st up to review COVID deaths of positive cases as well as to survey the quality of care at both government and private facilities.

The committees were also tasked with examining the full medical records of the patients to strengthen the system and improve response to save lives.

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