Certifying and Coding COVID-19 as Cause of Death

Certifying and Coding COVID-19 as Cause of Death
Death certificates


Taking into consideration the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has released emergency codes and has also published international guidelines to standardize the coding and classification of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19. PAHO has collaborated in the development of these recommendations as well as their dissemination among the countries of the Region of the Americas. Following this publication, questions have been raised from the daily work of doctors, coders and other professionals responsible for health statistics. Accurate and standardized data collection is essential for monitoring the pandemic and increase the knowledge of this new disease.


To provide instructions for certification and classification of deaths related to COVID-19, based on the International Classification of Diseases (CID).

Target audience: medical doctors, certifiers, coders, and responsible personnel for national health statistics.

Language: English


  • International orientation for certifying and coding COVID-19 as a cause of death. Dr. Vilma Gawryszewski, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/EIH)
  • Correct filling of a death certificate and the selection of underlying cause of death. Ms. Angela Hinds, The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). 
  • Examples of certification of deaths due to COVID-19.  Mr. Martin Jermaine, Ministry of Health &Wellness, Jamaica.    
  • Answers and questions 

Call for action: better information on COVID-19 to inform action