TINSUKIA: A health bulletin issued by the Tinsukia Health department on COVID-19 status inter alia the number of casualty has raised eyebrows as it depicted officially only 31 per cent of death due to COVID as against 76 deaths in Tinsukia district till date. Thus, it implied that 52 persons who died due to comorbidities were not allegedly confirmed by the State Death Audit Board even as they were treated as COVID patients.
The family members of deceased comorbid patients were at loss on several counts. First, in many cases bodies were not handed over to the families for last rites. Second, some comorbid patients in anticipation of COVID infection opted for specific COVID-19 health insurance policies for both family and individual under Corona Kavach Health IP and Corona Rakshak Health IP that was launched by Insurance Regularity and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on March 20. These family members are likely to face hurdles and harassment at the hands of insurance companies as death certificates have shown mortality due hypertension, kidney failure etc. but not of COVID-19.
A majority of COVID death cases of Tinsukia district were reported from AMC&H Dibrugarh and the health department earlier declined to divulge the details till confirmation by Death Audit Board. In many cases, information never reached media persons. According to district health officials, a COVID-19 death is confirmed officially only after declaration by the Board. Such ambiguity in number, besides showing low mortality rate, made people understand that the COVID-19 is not a life-threatening disease.
Though number of COVID positive cases has been increasing in alarming proportion across Tinsukia district, recording 249 positive cases on a single day on Thursday tallying to 5812, the health department in Tinsukia has virtually surrendered before the erring public who are yet to realize the danger of the pandemic.