November 12, 2020

Measuring covid-19 related deaths

 Excess mortality. Measuring the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19

Estimations of excess mortality can give an overall understanding of the impact of  COVID-19, by not only comparing deaths that are directly attributable to the virus, but also by 
taking into account indirect mortality. There may be, for example, deaths due to health systems not being able to cope with other conditions or to the longer-term impact of the pandemic on population health. There has been preliminary evidence of disruptions to continuity of care, hindering people suffering from heart attacks, strokes and other conditions from seeking necessary treatment in emergency rooms, or of delays in accessing regular preventive or ongoing care in primary care practitioner (GP), surgeries or outpatient departments for chronic conditions.

And a clear message on this OECD report:

 Comparing the number of reported deaths from all causes against the average over the previous five years, Spain recorded a 61% increase in overall mortality over this 10-week period. At the beginning of April (Week 14), Spain also recorded the highest excess mortality for a single week, with a 154% increase in mortality, equating to more than 12 500 additional deaths compared to the 5-year average for the same week.