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Home General MOHW clarifies daily COVID-19 death count

MOHW clarifies daily COVID-19 death count

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Nov. 16, 2021 — Today, the Ministry of Health and Wellness issued a release to provide some clarification on how the number of Covid-19-related deaths that is reported daily in its infographic update is to be interpreted. The clarification was issued following expressions of concern from the public after an alarming 26 deaths were reported last week, with 21 of those deaths being reported within two days. The Ministry thus saw the need to explain to the public how statistics relating to COVID-19 deaths are compiled and reported to the public in the daily infographic report.

The release states, “When a death due to COVID-19 occurs, the ministry reports the death when the medical practitioner issues a death certificate. A copy of that certificate is submitted almost immediately to the Epidemiology Unit of the ministry for reporting.”

While the communication channel between the Ministry and the medical practitioners issuing these death certificates is said to be intact, the Ministry pointed out that a number of other factors may contribute to the delay in confirming new COVID-19 deaths.

According to the release, factors which contribute to the delay include but are not limited to the need to wait for identification of the deceased, as well as the need to wait for laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 cases, and case review of deaths. Additionally, a lag could result due to the time it takes to input data into the Belize Health Information System (BHIS).

“With respect to the infographics, daily deaths reported are based on the time the ministry receives a copy of the death certificate,” the release states.

On November 15, a total of 10 new COVID-19 deaths were recorded and reported in the COVID-19 infographic released by the Health Ministry. A review of the dates on which the deaths listed in the release occurred, however, shows that the period during which the deaths took place spanned from November 2 to 15.

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