Statistics Office Releases Preliminary Data on Excess Deaths in 2020

By , 12 Jan 2021, 13:05 PM Lifestyle

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STA, 11 January 2020 - The number of deaths in Slovenia in 2020 is expected to be the highest since the Second World War based on data collected so far. The number of excess deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 was 3,153, while compared to the last five years, it was 3,821, show data by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).

In 2019, a total of 21,112 deaths were recorded in Slovenia, but last year the figure rose to 24,265. In the last five years, 20,444 persons died a year on average.

Compared to the average of the last five years, there were 3,821 more deaths last year, of which 930 were deaths not related to Covid-19. If only 2019 and 2020 are compared, the number of excess deaths not related to Covid-19 is 262.

"Excess deaths were recorded also in connection to diagnoses and diseases that are not directly linked to Covid-19," NIJZ head Milan Krek told the press today.

According to the preliminary data by the Statistics Office for last year, 20,634 people died between January and the end of November, which is 10% more than in the same period in 2019. A total of 3,059 people died in November 2020 alone, which is 85.5% more than in November 2019.

NIJZ data show that 2,891 people with a confirmed coronavirus infection died last year. Most of the deceased were the elderly from care home.

According to Krek, the data on Covid-19 patients were being collected two ways in Slovenia. The Health Ministry collects the data on the number of deceased Covid-19 patients in hospitals and care homes every morning. The NIJZ, however, collects the data on the bases of those who tested positive to coronavirus, and death certificates and documents on deaths due to contagious diseases.

NIJZ includes in its statistics deaths where an infection was confirmed 28 days before the death.

Since the methodology is different, the data cannot be compared directly, and a unified classification is yet to be set up on a global level, Krek explained. "The procedure is time-consuming, so we cannot report on deaths for individual days."

Among the 2,891 persons with a confirmed infection who died last year, 1,682 were care home residents, which is 58% of the deaths.

"One in ten care home residents died because of Covid-19," he illustrated, adding that 15% of care home residents with the infection had died.

The most deaths where a coronavirus infection was confirmed (603) was recorded in central Slovenia, the region with the most inhabitants, but the number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants was the highest in the Pomurje region in north-east (268). Koroška follows with 206 deaths per 100,000 people and Podravje with 156.

More than 50% of the deaths with confirmed infection was recorded among those over 85 years of age.

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