by Marian Duggan
Eight per cent of people who contracted Covid-19 in Mayo have passed away.
As of yesterday evening (Monday) there was 552 cases of the virus in the county and local coroners have confirmed they have been notified of approximately 45 deaths.
Coroner Pat O’Connor who is responsible for the east, south and west of the county, which includes Mayo University Hospital, has been notified of a death toll “in the mid 30s” with 75 per cent of those in Mayo University Hospital and the other 25 per cent in nursing homes and people’s own homes.
Coroner Eleanor Fitzgerald, a GP based in Crossmolina, covers the north of the county and 11 deaths have been brought to her attention with eight in a Belmullet nursing home, two in Ballina District Hospital and one in the community.
All Covid-19 deaths must be reported to both the public health authority and the local coroner.
The average death toll for the country stood at 6.39 per cent of all cases last night with Mayo’s rate almost two per cent higher.
In the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths, inquests will not be required because a doctor has certified the cause of death.
However, in circumstances where there is a public concern in relation to a person who became infected with Covid, an inquest may be held, explained Mr O’Connor.
Concerns surrounding the deaths of Ballyhaunis student Sally Maaz and 79-year-old Jackie Carolan from Bellacorrick have been raised.
It’s understood that gardaí have received a complaint about the death of Ms Maaz who contracted the virus at Mayo University Hospital while getting treatment for a long-term heart condition and the family of Mr Carolan has called for an investigation into why patients suspected of having been infected were cared for on the same ward as non-Covid patients.