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Excess mortality of between 876 and 1,192 recorded during March and September, CSO data shows

The excess mortality for the period March to September this year is estimated to be between 876 and 1,192.


EXCESS MORTALITY FOR the period March to September 2020 is estimated at between 876 and 1,192, according to figures from the central statistics office.  

The newly released data from the CSO assumes that, in the absence of Covid-19 deaths, mortality would have followed a similar trajectory to previous years. 

The figures show that the number of death notices observed for September (2,353) is broadly in line with the last years’ mortality statistics while the increase in death notices in April 2020 stands in contrast with previous years. 

The numbers of death notices increased to 3,502 in April from 2,861 in March, in comparison, the average number of deaths for April for the years 2013-2017 was approximately 2,500.

At the end of April this year, the Department of Health estimated that the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland, including probable deaths, was 1,232. The death toll now stands at 1,915.

The data on deaths above those likely to be experienced under normal circumstances is based on thousands of death notices on – which provided the CSO with close to real-time mortality trends in Ireland.

The CSO has been using to keep track of death notices since the end of March as Covid-19 forced researchers to explore experimental ways of obtaining up-to-date mortality data.

Analysis of death notices on was conducted as far back as 1 October 2019 to the end of September this year, in tandem with the monitoring of the Death Events Publishing Service of the General Register Office’s death notices. 

“Due to the Irish custom of holding funerals within two to three days following death, these notices are usually placed in a fast and efficient manner, providing a valuable crowd-sourced means of tracking deaths,” statistician, John Flanagan, said

“The notices are placed close to ‘real time’, given that we found the average length of time between date of death and publication is about 1.1 days. In comparison, the statutory time limit is three months for the registration of deaths in the State.”

The analysis of death notices also shows that there has been an increase in mentions of ‘home’ as the place of death, rising from 16.1% in October 2019 to 25.8% in September 2020.

Mentions of HIQA registered older person’s facilities have declined from a high of 1,237 in April 2020 to 457 in September 2020.

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Adam Daly

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