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COVID-19: Former Cook Islands prime minister dies

The Pasifika Medical Association declared on Saturday the demise of Joseph Williams, a previous executive of the Cook Islands after contracting the novel corona virus.

He passed on in a medical clinic in New Zealand.

Williams was admitted to clinic on Aug. 13 in the wake of getting the novel Covid.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health affirmed that the 82-year-old’s demise was the second COVID-19 passing in the nation in the same number of days.

Ashley Bloomfield, the Director General of Health, said in a statement that Williams was a “leading figure” in the Cook Islands medical community.

“Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief,” Bloomfield said.

Williams had served the Cook Islands, “his community in New Zealand and his many patients” for more than 60 years, the Pasifika Medical Association said in a statement.
His love, generosity and kindness have touched so many families, friends, and colleagues.

“He has left us all with the gifts of his journey, and for that we are forever grateful,” his nephew and association president Dr Kiki Maoate said.

Williams spent 25 years in the Cook Islands and served as minister of health and education.

He also had a brief stint as prime minister in 1999 and was also involved in the World Health Organisation, serving as a member of the executive board.


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