‘Death Review Committee’ constituted in Nagaland 

A protective mask, which is widely used as a preventive measure against the coronavirus (COVID-19), is pictured on a table world globe in this illustration taken March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak/Files
A protective mask, which is widely used as a preventive measure against the coronavirus (COVID-19), is pictured on a table world globe in this illustration taken March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak/Files

Atono Tsükrü Kense 
Kohima | August 3


The Directorate of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW), Nagaland has constituted a ‘COVID-19 Death Review Committee’ to review and ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the death, amid confusion over its classification. 

The Death Review Committee, constituted on July 28, comprises of a 9-member team of doctors with subject experts including forensics, pathologist, physician, microbiologist and others.

The committee has been set up to review and ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the death, and ensure appropriate reporting of such deaths as per ICMR and ICD-10 protocols, an official informed The Morung Express.

The Chief Medical Officer and Medical Superintendent of all districts were also directed to constitute District COVID-19 Death Review Committee comprising of officers from district health authority and subject experts from district hospital/health centre, the DoHFW official added. 

The district committee would review all COVID-19 positive deaths and submit the report.

“All concerned are directed to refrain from reporting such deaths as due to COVID-19 before review by the State Committee,” stated the order issued by the H&FW Principal Director.

The Department of Health & Family Welfare has classified one of the 4 deaths as “as COVID-19 positive but not due to COVID-19” and described another as having had “co-morbidities & tested COVID-19 positive.” While these remarks are far from clear, it is a blank as far as the other two recorded deaths are concerned. 

Officially, the State Health Authorities daily updates on COVID-19 carries disclaimer such as:   “1 death is Covid-19 positive but not due to Covid-19, 1 death had co-morbidities & tested Covid-19 positive, and under investigation.” Two cases of deaths have been ‘migrated.’

The official said preliminary reports of all the deaths indicated “multiple co-morbidities” and that these are under investigation by the COVID-19 Death Review Committee.