Chennai: A study conducted by a Chennai-based NGO, Arappor Iyakkam, has revealed that Covid related deaths in Tamil Nadu may be 9 times higher than the official numbers released by the state government. The study was conducted by analyzing the data from six government medical colleges and hospitals in the state; Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital; Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College and Hospital, Trichy, Vellore Medical College, Karur Medical College; and Tirupur Government Headquarters Hospital.
The study claimed that in the months of April and May, the deaths were 8.4 to 9.8 times more than those reported by these six hospitals. According to the study, the six hospitals have issued a total of 11,699 death certificates in the months of April and May. But, the number of deaths due to Covid in April and May 2021 declared in the media by the Department of Health and Family Welfare were only 863 in these six hospitals.
‘Approximating the same underreporting factor of 8.4 to 9.8 times for the entire state, the likely number of deaths due to Covid in TN may be between 1,08,721 and 1,26,841 against the reported number of 12,943’, the report claimed.
The NGO has urged the state government to mention the cause of death in the death certificates uploaded online. They have also demanded to set up an independent committee to audit the deaths that happened during the pandemic and reissue the certificates mentioning the cause of death.