ASSESSMENT – Internet users ensure that in Portugal, a court would have recognized that the “official deaths” of covid-19 in the country do not exceed 152 victims. It’s wrong.
Felicia Sideris – 2021-06-27T19:26:27.529+02:00
They continue to think that the epidemic is just a pretext. Almost a year and a half after the start of covid-19, Internet users assure that the virus does not kill. And that the death figures have been rigged. As proof, they cite the decision of a Lisbon court, to which is attributed a judgment according to which only 152 people actually died of the virus in the country, “and not the alleged 17,000”. What is it really?
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The Verifiers, a fact-checking team shared by the editorial staff of TF1, LCI and LCI.fr
The prism of a single source
Internet users who disseminate this information are relying on a decision by the Lisbon Administrative Court posted online by a local blog. It is indeed an authentic document, dated May 19. We find this figure of 152 deaths in the last paragraph of page 13. It says – in Portuguese – that between 2020 and 2021, “152 certificates were issued by doctors working for the Ministry of Justice, whose primary cause of death was the coronavirus”. It is this quote that is used to show that the official balance sheet would be well below the figures released by the health authorities.
However, Internet users forget to note important information. In this sentence, it is clearly specified that the court only takes into account the certificates issued by these famous “doctors who work for the Ministry of Justice”. However, they represent only a fraction of the people authorized to produce these certificates. With theObserver, a site certified by the IFCN as part of the international fact-checking network, the health authorities have clarified the role of these experts.
They are in fact entitled to collaborate in the process of certifying deaths only when there is a “suspicion that a crime resulted in death”. “Forensic autopsies performed by doctors attached to the Ministry of Justice take place in situations of violent death or of unknown cause”, thus noted the Portuguese General Directorate of Health to our colleagues. They therefore only represent “the smallest part” sources that certify deaths linked to the epidemic. “The vast majority of death certificates […] are issued by doctors linked to the Ministry of Health “, and not that of Justice.
The authorities also confirmed that on April 18, there were indeed, among the death certificates relating to the coronavirus, 152 certificates reported by the Ministry of Justice. And that, that same day, “a total of 16,945 deaths from covid-19 have been confirmed in Portugal”. The court’s decision therefore does not show “no deviation” with official data available.
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