The difference between the criteria set by the Supreme Court to count COVID-19 casualties for compensation, and the health ministry's definition of COVID-related deaths explains the discrepancy in the state's death count, the Gujarat government said on Tuesday, 14 December.
The official number of deaths due to COVID-19, as per the data released by the health ministry, indicate 10,099 casualties. However an affidavit submitted in the apex court lists 16,175 COVID-related fatalities.
The affidavit, which was submitted by the Gujarat revenue department last week, said that it had cleared sanction orders to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 each for a total 16,175 cases, news agency PTI reported.
When the Additional Chief Secretary (health) Manoj Agarwal was approached for a comment on the matter, he stated:
"The affidavit was filed by the revenue department, so you should ask the additional chief secretary or other officials of the revenue department about the same."
Meanwhile, Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi reportedly indicated that he has no knowledge of the affidavit filed by the department he overlooks.
However, he added that while the state committee had decided not to count deaths due to heart attack or failure of other body organs to be due to COVID-19, the SC had "ordered that all deaths within 30 days of patients testing positive for COVID-19 should be considered eligible for compensation".
The top court has directed the authorities to compensate the kin of all who died of the illness across the country.
(With inputs from PTI.)