Covid death or not? Parish informed only 45 minutes before

Coronavirus funeral stock photo Malta Haz-Zebbug
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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

It remains unclear whether an 85-year-old woman who had no close relatives living in Malta died of coronavirus.

The curious case concerns a woman who was at Dar Sant’Anna in Gozo and hails from Kerċem.

Sources have told Newsbook.com.mt that the parish was informed of a coronavirus-related death on Sunday morning. The funeral was to be held according to protocols in place in such cases including placing the sealed coffin on a trolley.

On Monday, no new coronavirus deaths were registered.

An “interesting” timeline

Newsbook.com.mt reached out to Steward Malta asking: “Could you kindly confirm whether there was a Covid-19 related death on Gozo on Sunday? And if yes, do you have the details such as date of when patient tested positive, age and if the patient passed away at GGH please?” at 2.42pm.

At 5.24pm, the spokesperson for Steward Malta replied: “Patient in question who died at GGH [Gozo General Hospital] on 10 January 2021 cannot be classified as a COVID death as she never tested positive. She was 85 years old.”

Asked whether she tested positive for the virus posthumously, the spokesperson said she did not test positive.

In the meantime, at 3.15pm or 45 minutes ahead of the funeral, the parish was informed that the person did not die of coronavirus and instead a normal funeral would be held. The coffin was still sealed as one would expect for a Covid-19 victim.

“No Covid-19 deaths were recorded on Sunday in Gozo,” a spokesperson for the Health Ministry told Newsbook.com.mt.

Multiple sources have confirmed with this newsroom that the woman was in the Covid ward at the Gozo General Hospital at the time of her passing away.

To date, Malta has registered 234 Covid-related fatalities.