11 days later: Health Min. classifies girl, 11, as COVID-19 death

0

An 11-year-old cancer patient who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) on November 6, has now been classified as a COVID-19 death.

The girl, of Grove, East Bank Demerara, had tested positive for the virus before she died but was not classified by the Ministry of Health as a COVID-19 fatality because she was rushed to the hospital with complications related to cancer and she was not showing any symptoms of the virus.

She was admitted to the regular Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on November 4 where she was undergoing treatment for leukemia, a cancer of the blood, the Ministry of Health revealed in a statement Tuesday night.

As a precaution, she was swabbed for COVID-19 on November 5 and the results came back positive; she died the next day in the ICU.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Narine Singh, in the statement explained that the re-classification is in keeping with the protocols established by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The section of the WHO guidelines relating to the classification of deaths states that “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).”

“Before death, the patient was tested for COVID-19, and this turned out to be positive, but there were no symptoms of the COVID-19 disease. According to the WHO guidelines, since her death was not caused by COVID-19, but she was COVID-19 positive at the time of death, it is to be recorded as a COVID-19 related death,” Dr Narine said.

This would mean that the 11-year-old girl is the youngest to die from the novel coronavirus in Guyana; the death toll will now be 141 and she will be recorded as the 15th person to die this month.

See the Chief Medical Officer’s full statement below:

Re-classification of death of 11-year-old

In keeping with guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the death of the 11-year-old child, whose admittance to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) was due to complications with cancer, and who eventually tested positive for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), will be re-classified as a COVID-19 related death.

The child, who lived in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), was admitted on November 4, 2020 and died on November 6, 2020 due to leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

The section of the WHO guidelines relating to the classification of deaths states that “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).”

Before death, the patient was tested for COVID-19, and this turned out to be positive, but there were no symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

According to the WHO guidelines, since her death was not caused by COVID-19, but she was COVID-19 positive at the time of death, it is to be recorded as a COVID-19 related death.

This death will therefore be reflected in tomorrow’s Dashboard (18 November, 2020).

Dr. Narine Singh- Chief Medical Officer  

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.