Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says the increasing deaths, including the death of a 21-year-old man announced in the latest COVID-19 update is a sad reminder of the ongoing toll this virus has taken on individuals and our community.
There are 16 new COVID-19 deaths bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths recorded since confirmation of the third wave to 49.
Doctor Fong says the 21-year old man from the Central Division died at home on 16th January 2022. He had no known pre-existing medical conditions and was fully vaccinated.
He says in accordance with the protocol for all deaths outside the hospital or on arrival, a sample was collected after death and tested for COVID-19, with a positive result.
Doctor Fong adds after an investigation, it has been determined that, in the absence of evidence of other illnesses, COVID-19 was the cause of death.
He says they know that Omicron is less likely to cause severe disease than other variants, meaning that most people who get infected will recover well at home without the need for medical intervention.
Doctor Fong adds the high vaccination rates will also continue to provide protection against severe disease.
He stresses that however, people who are over the age of 50 or have significant chronic illnesses, still have a higher risk of severe disease.
Doctor Fong says sadly, when cases in the community are very high, rare events also occur, such as severe illness and deaths in the young without significant chronic illness.
He says they saw this during the second wave and they are now beginning to see this in the third wave.
Doctor Fong adds they urge everyone to take heed of the advice on how to prevent yourself and others from getting infected and developing severe disease.
He says they ask everyone to be aware of the symptoms of severe COVID-19 disease and to immediately seek medical care if it present.
The symptoms include having trouble breathing (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing), ongoing chest pain, severe headache, confusion, inability to stay awake or wake up, pale, grey or blue-colored skin, lips or fingernails, worsening weakness, coughing blood.Click here for the full COVID-19 update
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