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Thiruvananthapuram: New software will be used to report COVID-related deaths in Kerala from June 15, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed on Wednesday.

In the COVID review meeting, the Chief Minister said that with the use of the new software, the cause of death will be confirmed within a maximum of three days and the family will be informed.

This comes in the backdrop of the opposition, both Congress and BJP, alleging that Kerala is underreporting COVID-19 deaths and many deaths occurring due to COVID-related illness are not being categorised as COVID deaths.

The Congress-led UDF had raised the issue in the state assembly recently.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan had alleged that Kerala was not following ICMR guidelines on reporting COVID-19 deaths. The allegation was denied by Health Minister Veena George, who argued that the state was following WHO protocol.

The COVID review meeting also decided to enforce strict restrictions in areas with high Test Positivity Rate (TPR) and hotels will not be allowed to give takeaways on Saturdays and Sundays. Only home delivery will be permitted.

If COVID is reported in homes that do not have isolation facilities, the patient must be transferred to a Covid treatment center.

The Chief Minister said that the government had received complaints that some private unaided schools were collecting excessive fees.

"Students who do not pay the fee are not being allowed to attend online classes. The practice of denying children education will not be allowed."

He said directions have been given for matter to be looked into and strict action taken.

A total of 15,567 new cases, 124 deaths and 20,019 recoveries were reported in Kerala on Tuesday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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