Researchers number 8,300 people who certainly or presumably died from the coronavirus in March and April. This is reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The agency has been studying physicians’ cause of death statements for those months for the first time. This makes it the most accurate estimate of corona deaths to date.
The researchers count 6,331 deaths in which a doctor was certain that the coronavirus was the cause. In addition, in 1956, doctors suspected someone had died of Covid-19 based on the clinical picture. CBS made these estimates based on approximately 95 percent of the cause of death statements. The agency has not yet received all of them.
Until now, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Statistics Netherlands only knew how many people had died of Covid-19 who had been tested for it. As a result, people who died of the virus but who had not been tested were left out of the picture.
The researchers studied the period from March 2 to April 26 in order to compare the figures from RIVM and CBS. At RIVM, 4890 people are known who died of the coronavirus during this period. Statistics Netherlands knows of 5,995 people who, according to doctors, certainly died of corona and 1,891 people who were probably the cause of this.
A doctor can only determine with certainty that a patient has died from the coronavirus if it has been tested for it. That should therefore be known to RIVM. That is why it is striking that the figures on the established corona deaths of RIVM and CBS differ so much, according to CBS sociologist Tanja Traag. Sometimes doctors may have determined without a test that a patient had died of Covid-19. It is also possible that information about tests has not always been received by RIVM. Whether this has happened and how often is not yet known.
Statistics Netherlands also examined how often people died from other causes in March and April. It is striking that fewer people died of cardiovascular disease and cancer compared to the same period last year. Slowly suspects this is because some people who suffered from these diseases were more susceptible to the coronavirus and eventually died from it. But that cannot be said with certainty based on the currently known data. The number of suicides and road deaths did not differ much from last year.
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View the corona news of Thursday 30 July here.