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Covid-19 related death

Monday 28 March 2022 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Health, National

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Covid-19 related death
Rarotonga hospital. PHOTO: SIAN SOLOMON//22011620

An elderly Rarotonga man with Covid-19 passed away over the weekend but Te Marae Ora health ministry spokesperson says ‘indications are that the virus was not the cause of death’.

Cook Islands Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed an elderly person who passed away at his home on Saturday night “was Covid positive when he died”.

However Te Marae Ora spokesperson Jaewynn McKay said “it appears that comorbidities were contributing factors to the death”.

“He was Covid positive when he died, but indications are that was not the cause of death,” McKay said.

“Patient confidentiality prevents any further comment.”

According to New Zealand Ministry of Health, Covid-19 deaths includes all cases that died who were classified as an active case of Covid-19 at the time of death.

In some of these cases, the underlying cause of death may have been unrelated to Covid-19, the NZ health ministry said. It also said the ministry’s clinical criteria for reporting a Covid-19 death will continue to be guided by the World Health Organization’s definition for deaths due to Covid-19.

According to WHO: “A death due to Covid-19 is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness, in a probable or confirmed Covid-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to Covid disease (e.g. trauma). There should be no period of complete recovery from Covid-19 between illness and death.”

“A death due to Covid-19 may not be attributed to another disease (e.g. cancer) and should be counted independently of preexisting conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of Covid-19.”

Earlier last week, Cook Islands Government confirmed three hospital patients tested positive for Covid-19, but these were not admitted because of Covid-19.

Figures provided by Te Marae Ora continue to show there have been no official hospitalisations for Covid-19, although public health officer Dr Douglas Lush earlier told Cook Islands News the reason for their hospitalisation was initially due to other ailments.

A TMO statement on Tuesday said: “All three persons are being monitored and will remain in the Te Kou ward until (seven day) isolation period is completed.

“All three are elderly with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) and have been admitted to the ward not due to the severity of their Covid-19 infection but due to the added risk of their NCD situation combined with now testing positive for Covid-19,” a government spokesperson last week said.

“All three patients are in stable condition and will be discharged from Te Kou ward when their seven-day isolation period is completed.”

The total number of Covid-19 cases as of 8pm last night was 1395 from 8378 PCR and RAT tests, with 606 active cases and 789 recovered.

“We were expecting hospitalisations to happen, as Covid-19 makes its way through the community,” Lush earlier said.

“TMO anticipates cases to be placed in hospital and expects some to have Covid infection when they are in hospital for other reasons.”