Statistics Estonia rolls-out weekly death rate report ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Deaths in Estonia by week, 2017-2020
Deaths in Estonia by week, 2017-2020 Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia is to publish figures on the number of deaths per week, every Tuesday for as long as assessing the impact of the coronavirus emergency situation is required, the agency said in a press release.

The data will be broken down by gender and age group.

The first update, issued Wednesday, reports that 302 Estonian inhabitants died in the week commencing April 20.

Of these, more women and girls (167) died than men and boys (135). The largest group by age was the over-80s, who accounted for over half the total at 155. The bulk of the remainder came from the 65-79 age group (90 reported deaths), with 57 people under the age of 65 dying.

Alis Tammur, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, says the weekly statistics allow a better overview of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the number of deaths.

"Besides the total number of deaths, it is important to observe whether there is a change in the number of deaths by age group and what kind of change this is," added Tammur.

A total of 10 deaths related to the coronavirus were reported in the week commencing April 20. Questions have also arisen as to what effect the pandemic has had on the death rate in Estonia as a whole, including the effects of cancelled scheduled treatments, the use of intensive care wards for COVID-19 cases, the separation of hospitals into quarantined and non-quarantined zones, and the increased burden on the healthcare sector and emergency services, as well as the effects of the economic downturn.

Statistics Estonia says it is published the figures retroactively, dating back to the beginning of 2017, on a week-by-week basis, with the 10-year average for each week also being displayed (see graph above).

The figures cover deaths of Estonian inhabitants, i.e. citizens and residents, and not non-residents who happen to pass away while in Estonia.

The highest number of deaths reported in Estonia in one week so far this year came in the week commencing March 9, when 335 people died. The government declared the coronavirus emergency situation on March 12.

According to Statistics Estonia, December to March sees a higher death rate than average, most years, and the summer months of June through September see a lower rate.

More data (in Estonian) is available here and here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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