Dr Avery Hinds

Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds

As the Covid-19 death toll nears 3,000, many are still questioning what is considered a “Covid death”.

One such group of people, the National Trade Union Centre (Natuc) on Tuesday called for the Ministry to clarify how Covid deaths are classified, a question that Epidemiology Division director, Dr Avery Hinds sought to clarify again yesterday.

Responding during the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference, Hinds said: “The deaths that are being counted as Covid deaths are deaths that have either Covid-19 as the direct cause, meaning the individuals went in and had a Covid-19 diagnosis on admission, succumbed to their Covid-19 infection and were counted as Covid-19 deaths, or individuals who sometimes are found, for example, those who would have died at home, we know that they had Covid.

“We know that they had other pre-existing conditions and whether Covid was the direct or a contributing cause to their deaths, those deaths are counted as Covid-19 because Covid played a role.

“It is also necessary to explain there are categories that are put on to the death certificate, the direct cause, the pre-morbid conditions, other significant conditions. Any of these that include Covid-19 would then classify the death for all purposes as a Covid-19 death because there is either a direct link or a contributory link to the Covid infection.”

He said the deaths that have been classified via the clinicians looking at the individual cases have all been deaths as he described, and they have not counted random individuals who died of something else while having Covid-19.

According to the ministry’s latest Covid-19 update, there have been a total of 2,973 Covid deaths to date, including both elderly, people without any comorbidities and children.

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