A viral post claiming an elderly couple died from the COVID-19 virus and that their deaths were not recorded in the COVID-count, has been debunked.
On Sunday evening, a man who identified himself as a relative of the couple posted the following text on his Facebook profile:
“My aunt and her husband has passed on both from / identified COVID-19. Their death was not registered/ counted as COVID-19 victims.”
The post was shared almost 300 times on Facebook by Monday morning and also was circulated widely on WhatsApp.
Guardian Media spoke to a relative of the couple, who said the 75-year-old man and the 73-year-old woman died within six weeks of each other.
But the relative said the man died in his sleep on July 4 after suffering a heart attack and not from the COVID-19 virus as claimed in the now-viral post.
However, the relative said almost six weeks later on August 14, the woman died. She was confirmed as having the virus at the time of her death.
The Ministry of Health issued a release that same day, telling the population that a ninth person had died from the virus. The Ministry’s release identified the victim only as an elderly female with pre-existing medical conditions.
The relative told Guardian Media she did not believe the post was made with malicious intent. She believes the other relative may have been confused about the timeline and circumstances surrounding the deaths.