Delhi hospital director replaced within days of data discrepancy in Covid-19 deaths
The order comes less than a week after Lok Nayak hospital came into focus for reporting around 47 deaths till May 6, when the government had reported only five deaths from the hospital.
The Delhi government removed Dr JC Passey from the position of Medical Director of Lok Nayak hospital on Wednesday. Dr Suresh Kumar from the department of medicine in the hospital has been appointed as the new head of the hospital.
The order comes less than a week after Lok Nayak hospital came into focus for reporting around 47 deaths till May 6, when the government had reported only five deaths from the hospital and just 66 across the city. The issue of discrepancy in the deaths reported by Delhi’s official health bulletin and hospital records were highlighted after that.
The three-member death audit committee is now working on clearing the backlog.
Just four designated Covid-19 hospitals from the city have reported around 173 deaths, but the city’s total toll on Delhi health bulletin on Wednesday was 106.
“The Centre had earlier this month sought clarification about why he was appointed as a director above the age of 62. This has nothing to do with the Covid-19 deaths,” said an official from the Delhi government.
On May 4, the central government had sought clarification from the Delhi government over the appointment of Dr Passey on an administrative post as he is above the age of 62. The health ministry in 2018 had mandated that doctors above the age of 62 not be given administrative position but instead work in clinical departments till retirement at the age of 65.
Dr Passey was a special appointment of the Delhi government in March-end for the management of Covid-19 at Lok Nayak hospital, which is the biggest Covid-19 hospital in the city and caters to only people with the viral infection.
With 20 more deaths from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) reported on Wednesday, Delhi registered the highest single-day increase of Covid-19 fatalities for the second consecutive day.
Delhi reported 13 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday. But even with the sudden spike in deaths, Delhi’s mortality rate continues to be just above one per cent, against the national average of 3.1 per cent.
On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 359 new cases of Covid-19, taking the city’s tally to just two short of 8,000.