(CMR) Chief Medical Officer John Lee announced on a local midday talk show today that an older woman who died at Health City in the early hours of yesterday morning is being classified as the country's fourth COVID-related death.
He noted that “covid will be listed as a cause of death” and went on further to explain how death certification works:
“You list the thing that brought someone's ultimate demise as number one and then you go through all of the other contributing factors and it will be listed as one of the contributing factors so it will be called a COVID death.”
He further noted that the standards are set out by the World Health Organization. He noted that not all deaths are classified in that way if COVID is completely unrelated to the death. He gave an example of someone getting into a car accident and later discovering that they were COVID positive – in that instance that would not be listed as a COVID-related death but as an associated factor as it played no part in the person's ultimate demise.
They said that they would not be making any special announcements in relation to deaths going forward unless there was something extremely particular about the situation. He acknowledged that in both of the weekend cases the persons had lots of medical issues and were very sick and it was not unexpected that they passed.
Dr. Lee went on to share that it has now been 10 weeks since community transmission saw a resurgence and he is hopeful that numbers will begin to fall off with some of the natural progression of the virus and measures implemented to slow down the virus. He noted that the later flow testing was working to get ahead of the infections. He noted that the hospital has been coping so far with the admissions.
He confirmed that they recently did an exercise as part of the Program Board's reopening with the various hospitals around the island and confirmed through “stressing” that 55 beds across three hospitals and they still continue to provide elective and routine services.
CMR understands that the patient in question is local business owner of Meringue Town Ms. Lucille Barnes who was ill with cancer and passed away after some time with the disease. It has been rumored early on that she was COVID positive as well.