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Almost half of NZ's Covid deaths had no underlying medical conditions

The Ministry of Health has taken the unusual step of revealing the co-morbidity factors present in New Zealand's 25 Covid-19 deaths so far.

Hospital workers treating a Covid-19 patient in the ICU (file). Source: istock.com

Various false theories have circulated this year around the lethality of the Covid-19 virus, including claims that no one has died solely from Covid-19 itself, and that all of those who die have other underlying health conditions.

Data released by the MOH, in response to an Official Information Act request on November 27, suggests otherwise.

Fourteen out of New Zealand's 25 fatalities have been in people with underlying conditions - but the other eleven had no other known health issues.

Those who had underlying conditions included people with chronic lung disease (5), heart disease (8), diabetes (5), neurological or neuromuscular disease (4) and renal failure (1).

Eight of those with underlying conditions had just one underlying issue, while six of the patients had more than one, and three patients each had two and three conditions.

Four of the 25 Covid deaths have been in people who were put on ventilation during their treatment.

Ministry of Health Manager of Data Services Laura Cleary said it was an unusual step to release the co-morbidity data.

"In general, we do not release mortality information until the majority of deaths have been assigned a cause of death," she said.

"However, we have made an exception for Covid-19 deaths due to the degree of interest  in this information, and the completeness of information available for these deaths."