Since the global pandemic broke out in March, experts from around the world use the “excess deaths” statistic to monitor the terrible effect of the coronavirus on mortality in each country.
Unlike the official balances of fatalities by Covid-19, which focus on those deaths for which an infection has been proven, the excess mortality statistics take into account deaths from all kinds of causes and compare it with the deaths that the experts anticipated for that period.
Thus, while in its latest report the Ministry of Health collects 42,291 deaths attributable to the coronavirus, the Statistics National Institute estimates that in 2020 there have been an increase of 18.73% in the number of deaths compared to the same period 2019, which means 66,852 more deaths.
The increase by province
The central area of the country has been the most affected by the increase in the number of deaths. So, Segovia It is the province where the number of deaths has increased the most compared to 2019, a 51%, which represents the loss of 754 more people than in the same period as 2019. Behind are Guadalajara, Albacete, Ciudad Real and Madrid, all of them with increases of over 40%.
At the opposite extreme, as can be seen in the map above, is Pontevedra, the only province in Spain that decreases the number of deaths with respect to the previous year (0.89%). Córdoba, for its part, barely registered differences, with a slight increase of 0.04%.
Likewise, with increases of less than 5% are Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Zamora, Jaén and Lugo.
2020: black year for all CCAA
However, if we compare the same period (until week 45) from the year 2000 to now, it is observed that both at the national level and in all the communities the peak of deaths is registered this year.
Likewise, the following graph represents the evolution of mortality in Spain, week by week, since 2000. The five weeks with the highest death records in 20 years they are within the first wave of the pandemic (from week 12 to 16 of 2020). The peaks observed so far correspond mainly to influenza epidemics and heat waves.
The data published by the National Institute of Statistics is in tune with the reports of the Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo) of the Carlos III Health Institute. The agency also places the “excess” in the number of deaths so far this year above 60,000 (61,404).
To make these estimates of expected mortality, the institute obtains daily information from 3,929 computerized civil registries of the Ministry of Justice and uses restrictive models of historical means based on the observed mortality of the last 10 years.
Thus, as can be seen in the following graph, there are two key moments in which the number of deaths (red line) is above the maximum expected threshold (upper limit gray area). The most obvious is in the period between March 13 and May 8, at which time the surveillance system collects 44,259 more deaths than would be expected in that period (black line).
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