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Singapore

Man who died from heart disease later found to have COVID-19

A 44-year-old man who died on Monday from a heart disease was infected with COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Jun 11).

Man who died from heart disease later found to have COVID-19

This image obtained on Mar 12, 2020 shows a scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. (Photo: AFP/National Institutes of Health)

SINGAPORE: A 44-year-old man who died earlier this week from heart disease had COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Jun 11).

The Indian national, known as Case 39327, developed chest and epigastric pain on May 28 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner, MOH said in its press release.

On Monday, he was found unconscious at his place of residence and taken to Singapore General Hospital’s emergency department.

Two days after his death, which MOH attributed to ischaemic heart disease, he was found to have had COVID-19.

READ: Singapore reports 422 new COVID-19 cases; JEM, Pioneer Mall added to list of places visited by infectious cases

The man is the 10th person who had COVID-19 and died but was not added to the official toll because the death was not caused by the coronavirus.

Seven deaths were attributed to heart- or blood-related issues. One death was attributed to cerebral haemorrhage and another to multiple injuries from a fall. MOH did not specify the cause of death for one of the cases, except that it was not related to COVID-19.

In some cases where patients died due to blood clots or heart-related issues, the patients were only confirmed to have had COVID-19 after their deaths.

“Only cases where the attending doctor or pathologist attributes the primary or underlying cause of death as due to COVID-19 infection will be added to the COVID-19 death count,” MOH said.

"This is consistent with international practice for classifying deaths."

Other countries have reported seeing an increased risk of blood clots and heart disease in COVID-19 patients.

But Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a written answer to Parliament last week that authorities cannot "definitively conclude" if this was the case in Singapore, given that only one out of 1,000 COVID-19 patients here experience “cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and blood clots”.

Nevertheless, he said MOH issued an advisory to all doctors last month to look out for cardiovascular symptoms in patients with the coronavirus and to also provide guidance on evaluating and managing such patients.

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the man is the 8th person who had COVID-19 who died of non-coronavirus issues. He is the 10th. We apologise for the error.

Source: CNA/ec(ac)

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