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Brought-in-dead Covid-19 cases take up to 6 weeks to be reported: Khairy
Published on: Thursday, September 23, 2021
By: FMT
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Kuala Lumpur: Brought-in-dead (BID) cases can sometimes take up to six weeks for health authorities to confirm as a Covid-19 death, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this was because a post-mortem would be required to determine the cause of death for each BID, contributing to the backlog in Covid-19 death reporting.

He added that deaths from health facilities could take between 24 to 72 hours to be reported to the national Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) as a field investigation was required for each deceased patient.

“These deceased persons must be confirmed to have died due to Covid-19, rather than simply dying with Covid-19. This is as per guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).”

According to Khairy, as of yesterday, there was still a backlog of 422 deaths, including 109 BID cases, that have not been officially reported as Covid-19 deaths.

In his winding-up speech on the King’s address today, he said the massive backlog was caused by the surge in cases in the Klang Valley, particularly in July and August.

With the influx of cases, Khairy said frontliners’ focus was mainly on treating patients and this affected the time they needed to report Covid-19 deaths.

“Generally, this backlog in reporting Covid-19 deaths does not happen in Malaysia alone, but also in other countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and India.

“Therefore, the health ministry has taken the necessary steps to ensure that data on deaths can be updated as soon as possible by requiring health facilities to report a death within 48 hours,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said the actual trend of Covid-19 deaths was in decline nationwide, stressing the importance of referring to the actual date of deaths for the cases that were being reported daily.

“The health ministry is working to update the backlog of deaths reported, and this has contributed to the high number of deaths reported daily of late,” he added.

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