New Delhi: After facing criticism for ‘under-reporting’ of COVID-19 deaths in the national capital, the Delhi government on Sunday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for hospitals and other health facilities in the city on reporting fatalities due to coronavirus. Also Read - Coronavirus in Delhi: 82% People Who Died of COVID-19 Were Above 50, Says Kejriwal; Promises Arrangements For Migrants' Safe Return

Issuing the SOP, Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev asked all COVID-19 hospitals and other facilities to e-mail a ‘death report’ to the government by 5 PM every day. Also Read - After 'Liquor Chaos' in Delhi, CM Kejriwal Warns of Closing Shops if Social Distancing Violated

The Delhi government in the SOP also warned of initiating strict action against the hospitals if any delay in reporting of fatalities is found. Also Read - 'Stringent Action, Less Relaxation', Harsh Vardhan Counters CM Kejriwal's 'Time to Reopen Capital' Remark

The development comes after officials of the 10 hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have said the number of people died due to the virus is higher than what the Delhi government’s bulletin reflects.

“Every COVID-19 hospital and other health facilities will appoint nodal officers who will ensure timely communication of deaths,” the order from Delhi government reads.

The order also stated that if there is a delay in reporting deaths, the medical superintendent, medical director or nodal officer of ‘defaulter hospital’ will have to file a written explanation soon.

“It has been observed that the government and private hospitals are not sending the COVID-19 updates regularly. The daily summary about COVID-19 deaths is not being sent to the death audit committee because of which daily reports get delayed or are submitted with wrong details,” the Delhi government observed.

The order from Delhi government came after Congress leader Ajay Maken on Saturday sought more transparency from the Kejriwal government while Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari urged the chief minister to tell the truth about COVID-19 deaths in the city.