133 Molesworth Street
PO Box 5013
+64 4 496 2000
M P Ross
By email: [FYI request #13913 email]
Dear M P Ross Response to your data request
Thank you for your data request to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) in relation to deaths due to
COVID-19 and comorbidity:
Of the 25 people as of 04/10/2020 that have died in New Zealand that tested positive with Covid-
19 (SARS-CoV-2), without naming/identifying them (i.e. NO: names, location in New Zealand,
gender, age, DHB, culture, race etc), therefore protecting the privacy of the patients under section
9 (2) (A) of the Official Information Act 1982:
1.) How many died specifically due to Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) without another contributing issue?
2.) How many were put on a ventilator at anytime during their treatment?
3.) How many received palliative care?
4.) How many had signed/had a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order in place?
5.) How many had comorbidity factors from the list below?
5c) Cerebrovascular disease
5d) Chronic kidney disease
5e) Cystic fibrosis
5f) COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
5g) Hypertension or high blood pressure
5h) Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
5i) Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV,
use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
5j) Liver disease
5k) Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
5l) Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
5n) Pulmonary fibrosis
5o) Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
5p) Sickle cell disease
5s) Type 1 diabetes mellitus
5t) Type 2 diabetes mellitus
6). How many patients from the previous question had each of the preceding comorbidity factors
in Questions 5a-5t?
7.) How many patients from the above question had multiple comorbidity factors?
7a.) For the number of patients above, how many comorbidity factors did they have? eg. Patient
A: 3, Patient B: 2, Patient C: 4
Please accept the Ministry’s apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
Please note that cause of death information takes some time to collate. After the Ministry receives fact
of death information, there is a 6-12 month process to assign a cause of death code for most deaths.
Any death which requires a coronial inquiry can take two or more years for cause of death to be
In general, we do not release mortality information until the majority of deaths have been assigned a
cause of death. However, we have made an exception for COVID-19 deaths due to the degree of interest
in this information, and the completeness of information available for these deaths.
The information you requested is set out below. It is based on the data on underlying conditions
collected through the COVID-19 case report form. This report is completed for all cases of COVID-19.
Please note that we do not collect information about some of the conditions and risk factors you asked
about; we could not include obesity, sickle cell disease, smoking and thalassemia.
1.) Eleven people have died due to COVID-19 without another contributing factor.
2.) Four people who died due to COVID-19 were on ventilation during their treatment.
3.) The Ministry does not collect or retain data in relation to palliative care.
4.) The Ministry does not collect or retain data in relation to DNR orders.
5.) Fourteen people who died due to COVID-19 had underlying conditions, as listed in the table in
point 6 below.
6.) The table below shows the number of people who had each of the underlying conditions.
No. of People
Chronic Lung Disease
Immunodeficiency, including HIV
Chronic neurological or neuromuscular disease
Post-partum (< 6 weeks)
1 The categories you provided in your request map to these groupings with the exception of obesity,
sickle cell disease, smoking and thalassemia. Note that 6 people had more than one underlying
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7.) Six people who died due to COVID-19 had more than one underlying condition.
7a.) The table below shows the number of underlying conditions each person had. Please note these
are ordered by the number of underlying conditions, not by date of death.
No. of Underlying Conditions
I trust this information fulfils your request. Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the
Ombudsman to review any decisions made under this request.
Please note that this response, with your personal details removed, may be published on the Ministry of
Manager Data Services, Data and Digital
Ministry of Health
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