Emergency room at Cannes hospital, in the Alpes-Maritimes (photo illustration) -


  • Hospitals would do well to mention Covid-19 as the cause of death of their patients, according to a viral rumor on social networks.

  • The reason ?

    Each death caused by the coronavirus would give them a bonus of 5,000 euros.

  • However, this is an intox, denied by the Ministry of Health, which also returns to the origin of the death statistics relayed by Public Health France. 

Would the number of Covid-19 deaths in hospital be artificially inflated by establishments motivated by obvious financial interest?

This is what several Internet users say, citing, as a source, a Facebook comment published in response to a post denouncing the alleged falsification of the cause of death of a patient in the south of France.



A declared Covid-19 death is 5,000 euros in premium for the hospital!

You have understood the interest for the head of service to go almost everything in Covid since March!

“, Supports this message, which has become viral since its distribution - in the form of a screenshot - on social networks.


- Alain Mondino (@alain_mondino) September 7, 2020

The rumor is not completely new since it was circulating as early as August but under another variant, targeting Belgium at the time - which led the Ministry of Health and the hospitals concerned to deny it to our colleagues from DPA.


Contacted by

20 Minutes

, the Ministry of Health "formally denies this information which is not based on any info or data".

What elements do the public authorities rely on to communicate the number of deaths due to Covid-19 in France on a daily basis?

Both on the feedback from the SI-VIC database - set up after the 2015 attacks - and on a monitoring system set up in nursing homes and medico-social establishments, as Public Health France explains on its site.

Deaths due to Covid in the event of a confirmed or suspected case

"The SI-VIC database is based on a methodology recommended by the WHO, which indicates that a 'death due [to] Covid-19 is defined, for surveillance purposes, as a death resulting from a compatible disease , in a probable or confirmed case of Covid-19, unless there is a clear alternative to the cause of death and which cannot be linked to the Covid disease (for example, trauma) ", specifies the ministry of Health.

In its "international guidelines for the certification and classification" of deaths due to Covid-19, the WHO further specifies: "No period of complete remission [from] Covid-19 should have taken place between the disease and the death.

A death from [the] Covid-19 cannot be attributed to another disease (for example, cancer) and should be counted independently of pre-existing conditions which are suspected of having triggered a serious course [of] Covid-19 .


In concrete terms, as detailed by the Ministry of Health, a person who has died in hospital is considered to be a Covid-19 victim in the SI-VIC database if "he or she presents a biologically confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 (generally an RT-PCR positive) ”and if she“ presents clinical signs and visible signs on thoracic CT (computed tomography) suggestive of the diagnosis of Covid-19.



A "complex job"

The Ministry of Health recognizes, however, that "the imputability to a cause of death is a complex work", carried out "a posteriori at the national level thanks to the epidemiological monitoring of the causes of death by the Center for Epidemiology on the medical causes of death. (CépiDc) of Inserm and Public Health France ”.

The more detailed weekly data on the profile of people who have died of Covid-19 are indeed based on the statistical work carried out by the CépiDc from electronic and paper death certificates filled in by doctors.

Its director, Grégoire Rey, illustrates this work with an example at

20 Minutes

 : "If the certificate mentions a pulmonary infection and, below, the Covid-19, the causal chain is acceptable and we can therefore retain the Covid-19 as the cause of death.


The CépidDC has also developed a “decision algorithm” to automatically identify cases of Covid-19 from the raw causes indicated in the death certificates.

“If the mention 'Covid-19' is associated with any form of negation or the formula 'absence of' on the certificate, the algorithm does not consider it as the cause of death.

Conversely, if “Covid-19” is associated with the terms “suspect” or “proven”, it is considered to be the cause of death, ”concludes Grégoire Rey.


Coronavirus in Paris: Why nursing students mobilized against Covid-19 received a mug


Report information that you think is false to the "Fake Off" team of "20 Minutes"

  • Fake off

  • Covid 19

  • Hospital

  • Coronavirus

  • Health