The Kerala state level death audit committee, for auditing the COVID-19 related fatalities, has reported that diabetes and hypertension caused the most number of COVID-19 deaths in Kerala up till August 2020.
Among 253 deaths, the audit committee identified 223 as COVID-19 deaths considering the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. 20 deaths were identified as non COVID-19 and decision on another 10 deaths is still pending. Among the 223 deaths, 157 were males and 66 females. 116 of them had hypertension while 120 others had diabetes. 54 people had coronary artery disease and 36 others had chronic kidney disease. Two people died of COVID-19 without any comorbidities.
The highest number of deaths were in Kollam district, 34 and second highest in Thiruvananthapuram, 31. More than 20 deaths were reported from seven districts. Idukki and Palakkad had only one death until August.
The mean age of the people who died was 63.5 years. The youngest person who died of COVID-19 was 7 months old while the oldest was 97.
The report also said that failure of reverse quarantine was observed in 61 deaths. In 13 cases, deaths occurred before reaching the hospital.
Reverse quarantine is a method of protecting vulnerable people from getting infection, where a person who is identified as being vulnerable to getting infected from other sick people is kept away till the situation improves.
The report suggests that more awareness on reverse quarantine is necessary. "The importance of reverse quarantine should be re-emphasised and the practice monitored using the grass-root level workers. Vulnerable persons even if mildly symptomatic should be tested for COVID-19," the report says.
The report says that the death can be considered due to COVID-19 only, when there is no period of complete recovery between the illness and death. It says "a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID-19 disease (e.g. trauma)," can be considered as a COVID-19 death.