West Bengal Red Flagged by the Inter-Ministerial Team

The Government of India had set up 10 Inter Ministerial Teams to visit districts in states such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The team that had visited West Bengal has now submitted its report.

Highlights

According to the report, the state had the highest mortality rate of 12.8% among COVID-19 patients. The report said that West Bengal has changed its protocol since April 30 that had reflected in death certificates and daily statistics.

The Central Government had announced that the death of COVID patients shall be indicated in daily statistics. Also, a committee of doctors have to be constituted to issue death certificate examining random samples. However, the state failed to comply with these rules.

Death Certificate in India

The Death Certificate in India is a document issued by medical practitioner that declares date, location, and cause of a person’s death.

Legislation

The birth and death certificates are issued in India under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. Under the act, the Central Government shall appoint Registrar General of India. He issues directions regarding the registration of births and deaths.

The State Government shall appoint chief registrar for the state and for districts and other local regions as well.

What is the issue?

Though the state governments had rights to issue death certificates, the centre had passed orders to report such issuances to it. The state of West Bengal failed to do so according to the report.  As COVID-19 has now been made a “notified disaster”, according to Disaster Management Act, the states will certainly have to follow the orders of centre, though they have their own powers.

The report also said that the state had high mortality rate due to weak tracking and surveillance and low testing.

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