One person did not die directly from virus but from intestinal problems

Deputy PM and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that in the case of one person who was reported as being a victim of the Coronavirus, the virus was not the main reason for their death.

He was replying to a PQ by MP Godfrey Farrugia on Monday. In a number of questions, Dr Farrugia asked what was the  exact cause of death of the six people who tested positive for Covid-19. Dr Fearne replied that, according to the National Death Registry, within the Department of Information on Heath and Research, out of the six patients in which COVID-19 contributed to their death, in five of them COVID-19 was considered to be the main cause, while in another person COVID-19 was a contributing factor,  however the main cause of death was related to intestinal problems.

He explained that he could not give more information about a specific case because it might lead to the identification of individual people, which is of great sensitivity to the relatives of the deceased, according to the parameters of the Data Protection Act, 2018.

The Health Minister explained that the average number of days of convalescence for people who test positive for COVID-19 from the date of the test until they recover is 16 days. Out of these, 25% who test positive did not have any symptoms and if one reduces the residents at the Open Centre the rate is 13%.

He explained that 19% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were kept at Mater Dei for treatment at the Infectious Diseases Unit for more than one day. He said that 11 people required treatment at the Intensive Therapy Unit. Out of these, four people required the assistance of a ventilator at the ITU at Mater Dei.

Meanwhile, Minister Fearne added that 55% of patients who tested positive said that they had taken the flu vaccine last year.

He said that the Health Department. has followed the criteria and case definition of positive cases for  COVID-19. He said that it has followed the guidelines which have been continuously published by the WHO, as well as the European Centre for Disease Control. The Minster said that every person who fell under these criteria was sent for swabbing in order to be tested.

Minster Chris Fearne was replying to this PQ on Monday, therefore the death of the seventh victim of COVID-19 had not yet been announced.