SINGAPORE: Speculation that the death of a 14-year-old Singapore Sports School student is linked to COVID-19 vaccination is “untrue and irresponsible”, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Oct 14).
Secondary 2 student Pranav Madhaik died on Wednesday after he felt unwell during a 400m fitness time trial on Oct 5.
On Saturday afternoon, the school revealed that the cause of death was cardiac arrest with antecedent cause of congenital malformation of coronary vessels.
“Based on the Ministry of Health’s vaccination records, the student had received his last dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine more than 18 months ago,” said the ministry.
“About 60 strokes and heart attacks happen every day, with or without COVID-19 vaccinations. It is highly irresponsible to link the two.
“For an unvaccinated person, the risk of COVID-19 infection leading to severe illness, far outweighs that of vaccination.”
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In a press release on Saturday, the Singapore Sports School said Pranav told the badminton coach that he was feeling unwell after completing a 400m fitness time trial at about 6.26pm on Oct 5.
The coach told him to rest and the boy did so at the side of the starting point of the track while the coach attended to the time-trial data on his phone.
The coach then left the track to brief other students on competition matters, not realising that Pranav was still resting at the same place. He then left the school premises after the briefing.
The teenager interacted with two other groups of students before a track and field coach noticed him. After he was given water, the coach assessed that Pranav had difficulty getting up, even with help.
An ambulance was called and his parents were informed. The badminton coach returned to accompany Pranav to the hospital.
The 14-year-old died six days later on Oct 11.
The coach has been served a notice of dismissal.
“It was found that the Badminton coach should have checked on Pranav to ensure his well-being before leaving the track.
“He did not account for all his student-athletes before dismissing them from training, which was not in accordance with the school’s safety protocols,” said the school, adding that it has met with the boy’s parents and extended its condolences.