The Government of Nunavut (GN) has committed to including the deaths of Nunavummiut caused by Covid-19 from outside of the territory in its statistics.

Previously the GN’s stance on counting the deaths of Nunavummiut in southern Canada, was that “it’s likely deaths will be reported in those jurisdictions” according to Premier Joe Savikataaq in past GN Covid updates.

However the province of Manitoba’s current stance is that deaths “would be reported by the jurisdiction of residence,” according to Kailey McCaffrey, public affairs specialist at the Government of Manitoba in an email to Nunavut News.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s CPHO, said that going forward all deaths of Nunavummiut will be counted on the site “including people where the death is linked to an outbreak in the territory and people who caught it in the south and passed in the south.” NNSL file photo

That tune has changed as of Jan. 12 according to the chief public health officer (CPHO) Dr. Michael Patterson as the total number of Nunavummiut will be noted on the GN website.

“We need to be very clear though, that will include people where the death is linked to an outbreak in the territory and people who caught it in the south and passed in the south,” said Patterson.

“Some of those may or may not be formally reported in the national data set as originating in Nunavut or originating in the south, it will be everybody who’s identified as a Nunavummiut regardless of how it was officially reported in the statistics.”

Five Nunavummiut have passed away from Covid-19, however only one of those deaths took place within Nunavut itself, in Arviat.

One of those southern deaths of Nunavummiut not currently counted was Silatik Qavvik of Sanikiluaq, who died of complications from the disease Jan. 2 shortly after the birth of her daughter.

“We want to make sure the deaths are counted properly so that we don’t omit any and so that they’re not counted twice. All deaths are regrettable and they will be counted,” Savikataaq said.

All jurisdictions in Canada follow national guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada on how to transfer and count case data.

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