Government dismisses LIC IPO data reports of mass COVID deaths in 2021

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The Union Health Ministry on Saturday dismissed as ‘speculative’ media reports of LIC IPO data that claimed COVID-19-related deaths in 2021 could be far higher than those officially registered.

India suffered the catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic during the months of April and May in 2021. The ministry clarified on Saturday that the country has a very transparent and efficient system for reporting deaths related to the COVID, from gram panchayat to district level. and at the state level.

The procedure for reporting deaths is followed and carried out in a transparent manner, he noted in a statement.

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The department further added that the media report relating to the LIC’s proposed IPOs cited details of policies and claims settled by the insurer to make a “speculative and biased” interpretation that Covid-related mortalities could be greater than those recorded. officially

“It is clarified that these reports are speculative and baseless,” he said.

While the claims settled by LIC relate to life insurance policies taken out by policyholders for all-cause deaths, reports conclude that this would imply that Covid deaths were underreported, the statement said.

“A misinterpretation like this is not based on facts and highlights the author’s bias.” It also reveals a lack of understanding of how India’s Covid deaths have been collated and published daily in the public domain since the start of the pandemic, he said.

The government has adopted a globally recognized categorization to classify Covid deaths for the sole purpose of reporting fatalities transparently, he said.

In the model thus adopted, the compilation of the total number of deaths is undertaken by the Center on the basis of independent reports from the States, the statement said.

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In addition, the government has repeatedly urged states to periodically update their mortality figures, as this exercise would heighten public health response efforts to COVID-19 by providing a true picture of the pandemic, it said. -he declares.

In addition to this, it should be noted that there is an additional incentive in India to report deaths from COVID-19, as this entitles people to monetary compensation, making the likelihood of under-reporting even rarer, according to the press release.

Therefore, jumping to any conclusions about underreporting of deaths amounts to mere speculation and guesswork, he added.

“Thus, it is emphasized that citing such sensitive issues as death during a global public health crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic should be handled with the utmost sensitivity and authenticity,” the statement read.

India has a robust Civil Registration System (CRS) and Sample Registration System (SRS) which were in place even before the COVID-19 pandemic and covers all states and union territories, the government said.

It is also pointed out that death registration in the country has a legal basis, he added, adding that the registration is carried out under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD Act, 1969) by officials appointed by state governments.

Thus, data generated by CRS has the highest credibility and should be used rather than relying on unauthenticated data, the statement said.

(With entries from PTI.)

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