The recent news headline in page 2 of the Post Courier (20 July 2020) eludes to Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) 17th recorded COVID-19 case as the country’s first fatality. However, it is misleading at best and the results of the test must be questioned.
The victim is reportedly a 48 year old woman from Central province who had Stage 4 breast cancer. She died as a result of multiple organ failure – all consistent with cancer at that stage. There is no mention that she died from COVID-19 in the official statement. However, Post Courier have made it sound like she did.
17th COVID-19 case succumbs to virus– Post Courier (July 20), page 2
However, official media release from authorities did not specifically say she did.
…and while we cannot say this patient died of COVID-19, its speaks to the science that is out there in the world and that we have been saying.– Dr Paison Dakulala
In fact the statement clearly indicates that while the woman had the virus, it was uncertain to how it affected her. “Her illness and death may have been complicated by COVID-19“, the last line of paragraph 4 reads.
It is unfortunate that a once respected publication has sought to sensationalize headlines in an effort, I can assume, to drum up readers.
Furthermore, the results of the test cannot be taken without a grain of salt – especially after the recent news that 4 members of the testing facility have tested positive to the virus.
This fact suggests that proper protocols were not adhered in the laboratory and raises the question of sample contamination.
Now, I am going to pen off here but I think I have made my point.
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments.