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Maltese COVID-19 Victim’s Son Calls For Justice After His Father Discharged ‘Despite Serious Cough’

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Charlie Cauchi, the son of an 89-year-old COVID-19 patient who recently passed away, has called for justice and answers about how his father was discharged from hospital despite displaying clear symptoms.

“Someone must be held responsible for discharging him,” Cauchi told Lovin Malta. “My father was elderly and his health was deteriorating but there’s a pandemic out there and he shouldn’t have been sent home with COVID-19 symptoms.”

Cauchi said his father Michael was undergoing quarantine at home after having brief contact with a positive case a few weeks ago, was swabbed at home and tested negative. During his quarantine period, he got a stroke, was rushed to hospital and was tested for COVID-19 as per procedure; once again, he tested negative.

Seeing as his quarantine period wasn’t up, he was kept in isolation at hospital.

According to the official version of events released by the Health Ministry, he wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms when he was discharged on 31st August.

The Health Ministry's official version of events

The Health Ministry's official version of events

However, Cauchi said this isn’t true serious and that his father had a serious productive cough when he was discharged.

“When I moved him from his wheelchair to the car seat, he started coughing productivity,” he explained.

This is Charlie Cauchi’s version of events:

At home, Michael Cauchi fell asleep and slipped out of consciousness. A doctor was called in to check on him, the elderly patient briefly opened his eyes and the doctor told Charlie to call him immediately if he doesn’t wake up.

As the doctor was preparing to leave, Charlie Cauchi’s sister ran up to them and warned that her father was unresponsive, the doctor checked him out again and they called an ambulance.

Michael Cauchi was swabbed again for COVID-19 and doctors at the emergency department told his son that his father had a serious lung infection, but doubted it was related to the coronavirus seeing as he had only been discharged from hospital that same day.

However, the test came back positive and Michael Cauchi passed away while receiving treatment.

‘I Want Justice’

Cauchi said he has reached out to a number of authorities, namely Prime Minister Robert Abela, Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci, Health Minister Chris Fearne and the hospital itself, to inquire into the circumstances around his father’s death but has yet to receive a response.

Questions sent by Lovin Malta to the Health Ministry over 24 hours ago remain unanswered.

“Action must be taken against the person responsible for discharging my father,” Cauchi said. “He may have tested negative for COVID-19 upon his initial hospital admission but he was still in his quarantine period and was displaying clear symptoms when he was discharged.”

“If he had died at home, we’d have never known he was positive for COVID-19, the virus would have spread and we’d have never known.”

 

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