Friday 15 January 2021

Dutch excess death rate tops 13,000 this year, coronavirus the likely cause

Photo: Depositphotos.com

With just a few days to go, 13,000 more people have died in the Netherlands this year than statistics would predict, national statistics agency CBS said on Tuesday. Most of those deaths are likely to be due to coronavirus.

In total, 162,000 people died in 2020, with the excess death rate clearly following the coronavirus pandemic with a slight peak in the summer months due to the short heat wave.

The rise in the excess death rate has been particularly acute in nursing and other care homes, the CBS said. In the second last week of the year, for example, 450 or 37% more nursing home residents died than would have been expected. In the rest of the population, excess deaths pushed the number of deaths up 18% last week.

The CBS said this summer that based on excess death rates and death certificates, some 10,000 people died from the coronavirus in the first wave.

The official death toll published by the public health council RIVM does not include people who have not been tested for coronavirus, and testing was not widespread during the first wave. The RIVM’s official death total currently stands at just over 11,000.

The number of deaths in absolute terms has not been so high since World War II, the Volkskrant reported.

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