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Scott Morrison says dying WITH Covid is not the same as dying 'because of Covid' 

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Parliament erupts as Scott Morrison says dying WITH Covid is not the same as dying ‘because of Covid’

  • Scott Morrison was asked about the performance of minister Richard Colbeck
  • He said 5,728 have died in aged care since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • But he insisted that dying with Covid is not the same as dying because of it 


Scott Morrison infuriated Labor politicians in Parliament today when he declared that people who died with Covid in aged care were not necessarily killed by the virus.

The Prime Minister was asked by Labor leader Anthony Albanese if he thinks Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck is performing well after the minister said death totals are not an indication of his success.

Mr Morrison replied by saying that until February 9 a total of 711 people have died in aged care homes this year and 5,728 since the start of the pandemic.

But he pointed out that not all of them were killed by Covid even if they were positive at the time of death. 

‘While we mourn the loss of those who have passed away in aged care, who have had Covid-19 when they have passed away… passing away with Covid is not the same as passing away because of Covid.’

The comment sparked shouting across the Parliament from Labor politicians. 

‘They may interject on that, but that is the medical advice that has been provided by the Chief Medical Officer,’ Mr Morrison said.   

Scott Morrison (pictured) infuriated Labor politicians in Parliament today when he declared that people who died with Covid in aged care were not necessarily killed by the virus

Scott Morrison (pictured) infuriated Labor politicians in Parliament today when he declared that people who died with Covid in aged care were not necessarily killed by the virus

There were 2,639 Covid-related deaths nationally between March 2020 and January 31 of this year. The virus was listed as the underlying cause of death for the vast majority of deaths, or 96.8 per cent of cases, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

However, some 91.4 per cent had other conditions also listed on their death certificate – three other health issues on average.

Those underlying issues ranged from chronic cardiac conditions (the underlying issue for 35.8 per cent of deaths) to diabetes (20.6 per cent) and cancer (14.1 per cent), according to the ABS data.

The median age of those who died with coronavirus was 81 for men and 86 for women.

Meanwhile there were 32,000 deaths from heart disease in Australia in that period, with Covid deaths making up only one per cent of all fatalities nationwide. Another 100,000 died from cancer during those 22 months. 

THE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS OF AUSTRALIA’S COVID FATALITIES 

Of pre-existing chronic conditions reported on death certificates, the following issues accounted for:

Chronic cardiac conditions – Atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation – 35.8 per cent of deaths with an underlying condition

Dementia – including Alzheimer’s – 30 per cent

Diabetes – 20.6 per cent

Cancer – 14.1 per cent 

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