Tag Archives: mortality

This morning.

Covid response critic Ivor Cummins reviews yesterday’s debate between Tim Martin (top left), CEO of Wetherspoon pub chain and Prof Sam McConkey, Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons, on Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ Radio One.

Under discussion: true mortality rates and just who on earth is John Ioannidis?


Quarter of Covid deaths not caused by virus, new figures show (Daily Telegraph)

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a Covid-19 press briefing tonight

This evening.

Paul Cullen, of The Irish Times, asked Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan about the CSO’s mortality report published earlier today.

They had this exchange:

Paul Cullen: “The other thing I noticed, from reading through that report from the CSO. Obviously our peak of deaths occurred in April of this year.”

Tony Holohan: “Uh-hum.”

Cullen: “The peak of deaths in 2017 and 2018 occurred in January. They’re actually the same size, the whole three peaks. Would you draw any conclusions from that? In fact, the one in 2018 is slightly higher than the one this year.”

Holohan: “The one in?”

Cullen: “2018 is just marginally higher than the one…I mean there was a lockdown but…”

Holohan: “Pardon me?”

Cullen: “There was obviously a lockdown in April.”

Holohan: “Yeah, there’s always a peak in mortality in the winter time. We’re well used to seeing that. And it occurs in every, every developed country and we’ve seen these reports through the European mechanism which is the European Mortality Monitoring Mechanism, the Euromomo which I’m sure you’re well familiar with, and established the same sort of pattern. I haven’t had a chance today to study the CSO, I believe they just published that today and I simply haven’t had a chance to study the detail of that today so I’ll wait to study that before I comment on your specific question.”


The monthly recorded death notices for October 2019 to September 2020 compared with CSO mortality figures for the same period for the years 2014 to 2019

This afternoon.

On RTÉ Radio One’s News at One.

Central Statistics Office statistician John Flanagan spoke to Bryan Dobson about a report by the CSO, involving an analysis of death notices on RIP.ie, which shows that excess mortality for between March and September 2020 is estimated to be between 876 and 1,192 deaths.

Bryan Dobson: “When you say there has been, more, excess mortality in the order of 1,192, what are we talking about? What are you comparing it with?”

John Flanagan: “Good afternoon, Bryan, so excess mortality is a measure of the number of people who have died over and above the number we would have expected to die in the absence of the pandemic. So, for example, in 2020, we would have expected around 2,500 deaths but we observed 3,500.”

Dobson: “So in relation to Covid then, it’s quite clear that Covid has, or well, it’s certainly, it’s indicated by these figures that Covid has contributed to an increase in deaths since the pandemic began earlier this year?”

Flanagan: “Yes, absolutely. So essentially, in a sentence, what you could say is between 900 and 1,200 people are dead who would otherwise have been alive at the beginning of October 2020.”

Dobson: “But that is still below the official figure from the Department of Health for Covid-related deaths, I think which is in excess of 1,900. So how is that explained?”

Flanagan: “So in certain instances there have been some accelerated deaths, so but, if you were to take it on of people who have died of Covid-19 that there is a spectrum of people who are otherwise healthy and people who are gravely ill, so essentially we are seeing, we can state that the 1,800 is effectively capturing the number of people who have died of Covid-19.”

Dobson: “There’s also another pattern which you observed and that is that many of these excess deaths are concentrated in the earlier part of the period and I suppose when the pandemic was at its height and have, well, largely tailed off into the month of September?”

Flanagan: “That’s right, yeah. So we’ve seen the death rate, the numbers of deaths return to normal, as what we would have expected to see.”

Dobson: “So for the month of September, is there any excess mortality, any indication that Covid has caused additional deaths?”

Flanagan: “No, nothing really out of the ordinary.”

Dobson: “So what lessons then do you draw from this in relation to how the pandemic is being understood?”

Flanagan: “Well, you know, all we can really discuss on the basis of this analysis is what we’ve found based on death notices. I can’t, I’m not really sure if I’ve answered your question there Bryan.”

Dobson: “Right. Maybe that’s for others to give some consideration to.”

Flanagan: “I think so. I think so.”

Dobson: “OK, well, we’ll leave it there…”


Listen back in full here

EURO MOMO detects and measure ‘excess deaths related to seasonal influenza, pandemics and other public health threats’

Anon writes:

Could you ask one of your mathematics competent regulars to look at this?

I was looking at the EURO MOMO site this morning and checked the Irish situation.

EURO MOMO uses the Z-scale to monitor excess mortality throughout Europe. Z numbers are a statistical method based on the expected mortality rate for each week of the year.

A Z score of 2 for the country ( which equals 2 x the Standard Deviation of the base line ) is considered to start moving above the expected.

I was shocked to see that Ireland has not had, and has never has had, a problem with covid-19. In fact the Z score for week 19 in Ireland is negative, which means Ireland had less deaths than expected for that week.

Ireland’s peak weekly total at 492 in week 17 has a Z-score of -1.76. Definitely not a problem.

Look at “Map of z-scores by country” and use the timeline slider to look at week 15 onwards and then at “Z-scores by country” to see the Z numbers graph.

Compare with England, Belgium, Italy, France and Spain….



Z scores?