The death will be officially recorded as due to COVID-19 only if contacts of the victim test positive for the coronavirus.

Telangana to no longer collect samples from dead bodies for COVID-19 testingPTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 19:14

The Telangana Health Department issued instructions asking district medical and health officials not to collect samples for COVID-19 testing from bodies of those suspected to have died due to the coronavirus.  

In a circular dated on Monday, Director of Public Health G Srinivas Rao said that despite instructions to not collect samples, several hospitals were found to have flouting the orders. 

“It has come to the notice of the undersigned that the above instructions are not being followed strictly. In this connection, all DM&HOs are hereby instructed once again not to collect samples from dead bodies for further COVID-19 testing,” reads the circular. 

According to IANS, the Director of Public Health Srinivas Rao has, however, asked officials to treat all such cases as COVID-19 cases for the purpose of further screening. The family members and contacts of all such deceased persons will be quarantined and tested for COVID-19. Only if any of the contacts test positive, the death will officially be recorded as due to COVID-19.

However, despite numerous calls, the Director of Public Health refused to comment on the reason for such a decision. A top official from the Health department told TNM that they weren’t consulted before taking the decision and didn’t know the rationale behind it. 

 Telangana’s protocol varies with that of many other states where persons have been confirmed positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes the disease COVID-19 days after their demise. It is also unclear what Telangana’s new instructions will mean for data collection as far as COVID-19 cases are concerned. 

Meanwhile, the Health Department is also in the process of arranging a special vehicle to collect samples from persons suspected to have COVID-19 at their homes. If the samples are positive, the patients will be shifted to hospitals.

 The death toll in Telangana due to COVID-19 stands at 23. The state has reported a total of 872 positive cases out of which 663 of them are active and 186 patients have recovered.

(With IANS inputs)

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