This morning/afternoon.

Paul Callan (above), of global strategic consultancy firm Dalberg,  writes in today’s Irish Times:

…The official number of deaths from the virus in the Republic was 5,209 up to September 22nd, 2021. At 104 deaths per 100,000 people, this mortality rate is the sixth lowest among the 27 EU member states and 12th lowest among the 38 OECD countries.

Estimates by the Economist show, however, that only about 1,400 to 2,250 extra people have died since the start of 2020, compared with the numbers of deaths that would have been expected based on mortality trends before the pandemic.

This estimate of “excess deaths” corresponds to only 28 to 45 deaths per 100,000 people.

There are three possible explanations for why excess deaths could be much lower than reported deaths from Covid-19 – each of which likely contributed to the difference.

First, measures taken to control the spread of the disease are likely to have reduced deaths from other causes.

Registered deaths for the year from April 1st. 2020, to March 31st, 2021, as reported by the Central Statistics Office, were lower than in the previous 12 months for the most common causes – cancers (by 228 deaths), heart and circulatory system diseases (by 381 deaths) and respiratory conditions (by 974 deaths). Suicides declined by 27 per cent (111 deaths), deaths in transport accidents by 22 per cent (19 deaths) and deaths from influenza by 87 per cent (90 deaths).

Second, some people who died from the virus may have otherwise died from other causes. This could account for some of the reductions in deaths from cancer, heart disease and respiratory conditions – but only some, since fewer people died from these causes in countries, such as New Zealand and Iceland, that largely kept the disease out.

Third, deaths from the virus may have been overstated. Per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, Covid-19 statistics include “probable or possible deaths” – some of which may actually have a different primary cause. Among death registrations, which attribute each death to one underlying cause, only 3,518 deaths were counted as due to the disease between April 1st, 2020, and March 31st, 2021, which is only about three-quarters of the 4,599 reported Covid-19 deaths during the same period.

Furthermore, deaths from respiratory system diseases showed the largest declines compared with the previous 12 months, suggesting that even registered Covid-19 deaths may include some that were incorrectly attributed as primarily due to the virus or at least that would have happened anyway without a Covid-19 infection…[more at link below]


Have we really done better than other countries over the pandemic? (Paul Callan, Irish Times)

Previously: Underlying

Not Quite The Same Thing


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6 thoughts on “Not Adding Up

  1. SB

    “Expected” deaths? If, say, my father was diagnosed with cancer at the start of 2020 and given 18 months to live, and then succumbed from Covid 3 months later, I’d call that a Covid death. Yes, he’d have died eventually – but we all do. These people who were “expected” to die “anyway” were still robbed of time.

  2. K. Cavan

    Yeah but I knew this & have actually posted the figures in two different posts, on here.
    I’m just waiting for the Covidiots to attempt to cover this in whitewash, should be fun.

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