The top officials of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and Ministry of Public Health met on 14 September 2021 to agree on ways to improve government death statistics. Ramón Jaquez Liranzo, president of the JCE that manages the country’s civil registry, and Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera that manages Covid-19 statistics, met after the controversy unleashed by the publishing of a report by health journalist Altagracia Ortiz in Hoy on differences between stats reported by the JCE and those in the Covid-19 epidemiological reports issued daily by the Ministry of Public Health. The meeting took place at the JCE headquarters.
The JCE had registered 8,656 deaths by Covid-19, while the Ministry of Public Health had reported 4,014 deaths by Covid-19 for 9 September 2021.
The officials of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and the Ministry of Public Health told the press they are taking steps to improve the inter-institutional relationship and strengthen the weaknesses in the civil registry, mainly on deaths.
“What has happened is an opportunity to improve,” expressed the president of the JCE, Román Jáquez Liranzo before meeting in his office with the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Daniel Rivera.
Jáquez Liranzo considers that it is necessary to improve the inter-institutional relationship in what has to do with interoperability, so that the information received by the JCE is by certain standards that can be established through an agreement.
He specified that the function of the JCE is to register what a death form or certificate says.
Jáquez Liranzo stressed the need to amend Law 659-44 that dates back to 1944. The JCE proposes that declarations of deaths made by the mayors of the townships be certified by a health practioner. He acknowledged that 8,659 deaths registered in the JCE since March 2020, a total of 659 were issued by the mayors of rural communities who he said do not have the expertise to declare the cause of death of a person.
On 10 September 2021, the Ministry of Public Health informed that there are different death registration streams and that in the case of the civil status of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), these are documents filled out on the fly, at the moment of death and do not necessarily reflect an accurate diagnosis. The Ministry of Public Health says that the Epidemiology division of the Ministry takes this information and qualifies it according to international criteria and standards and thus the difference in the stats.
15 September 2021