Number of COVID-19 deaths with co-morbidities recorded on death certificate

Jaay-H made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Department of Health did not have the information requested.

Dear Department of Health,

On 25 March 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) promulgated a directive from the World Health Organisation for certifying deaths due to COVID-19.

The directive states:

“COVID-19 should be recorded on the medical cause of death certificate for ALL decedents where the disease caused, or is assumed to have caused, or contributed to death.”

The directive also states:

“Co-morbidities. Existing conditions, especially those which are chronic in nature, that may have also contributed to death should be certified in Part II of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Chronic conditions may include but are not limited to: coronary artery disease, COPD, diabetes, cancer or disabilities.”

Causation and contribution are different medical constructs.

The ABS directives potentially conflate the statistics being reported to the Australian public.

We seek a copy of the document listing the number of COVID-19 decedents who passed away with co-morbidities recorded in Part II of their medical cause of death certificates.

Yours faithfully,


FOI, Department of Health

2 Attachments

Dear Jaay-H,


Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request to the Department of Health.


Kind regards,



FOI and Legislation Section


Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division | Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health

T: 02 6289 1666 | E: [2][Health request email]

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia


The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present.


If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.


show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

Thank you

Yours sincerely,