Court orders post mortem for deceased seasonal worker

The District Court has ordered a post mortem for the repatriated seasonal worker, who died a week after he was released from his 14-days quarantine.

District Court Judge, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i, acknowledged receiving the medical report on the deceased on Tuesday and ordered that a post mortem is done in line with the request of the examining doctor and the Police.

“Today I received the medical report for the deceased and that a COVID-19 test was conducted confirming that the deceased was tested negative for COVID-19 as evident in the results received on 16 August 2020,” she stated.

“I have also received the report from the […] confirming there was no foul play. A post mortem is requested by the Doctor and the Police outpost this is to ascertain the cause of death and a post mortem is accordingly ordered.

“The body of the deceased is now in the custody of the coroner and only to be released upon completion of the post mortem.”

Judge Alalatoa also ordered that the hearing is scheduled for 19 September 2020.

During the weekend, the Government Press Secretariat released a statement rejecting online reports claiming the man – who collapsed suddenly and was rushed to the hospital – died of the coronavirus.

The secretariat emphasised that he had tested negative for the virus and been released from a quarantine facility over a fortnight ago.

But the man's official cause of death will still be investigated by a coroner, the Ministry confirmed. 

"The official cause of death [of a] male reported Saturday 15th August 2020 at the Leulumoega District Hospital is subject to an official coroner’s report, contrary to claims posted on social media that the COVID-19 virus is the confirmed cause of death," the statement said.

The man collapsed at his home and was rushed to hospital when he was proclaimed dead on arrival. 

According to the Ministry of Health [M.O.H.] his medical records showed no signs of a history of severe medical conditions or ill-health. 

His family also stated that he had appeared fit and healthy since his release from a quarantine facility, keeping up with his daily routines. 

"[The deceased] had completed his 14 day mandatory quarantine requirement on 31st July 2020 after he was tested negative for COVID 19 before he was allowed to go home," the statement added.

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