Coroner questions whether death of infant is COVID related


District Court Judge and Coroner, Alalatoa Rosella Papaplii has ordered a full medical report on the body of the four-month-old baby that died on Sunday.

Her honours, also directed the report must “state if the pneumonic cause of death is COVID-19 related”.

This was confirmed by Deputy Police Commissioner, Auapaau Logoitino Filipo when contacted by Radio Polynesia in relation to the infant’s death, as first reported last night.

The body of the infant is being held in the Coroner’s custody pending the medical report to be submitted to Judge Alalatoa.

“I can confirm, the Coroner is awaiting a full medical report on the infant and she will determine whether an autopsy will be conducted,” said Auapaau.

“Adding the District Court Judge has also asked that the full medical report indicate if the pneumonic cause of death is COVID-19 related. Until the Judge makes a decision, whether to proceed with the autopsy, that is all I can say on this matter.”

Auapaau in earlier reports confirmed the Police are investigating the death of the infant after they intercepted the body on its way to the burial site. 

The baby was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, after being diagnosed with pneumonia however, on Sunday the infant died.

As reported earlier Police Officers told Radio Polynesia, the baby was discharged to seek a Samoan fofo on Saturday. On Sunday the baby died. 

“The family was on their way to bury the baby at the A’ana Alofi District when they were stopped at the Police checkpoint, and diverted back to the hospital, while the Criminal Investigation Division was contacted.

This is how the investigation was initiated into the infant’s death,” said a Senior Police Officer that was present at the checkpoint on Sunday.