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new figures 'Excess deaths' of up to 1,192 recorded since beginning of the Covid pandemic

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Religion, death and dolor  - undertaker at funeral standing in front or urn

Religion, death and dolor - undertaker at funeral standing in front or urn

Religion, death and dolor - undertaker at funeral standing in front or urn

BETWEEN 876 and 1,192 "excess deaths" have been recorded since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March to September, new figures have revealed.

The deaths cannot all be linked to Covid-19, but the figures shed light on some of the toll the virus has taken since it first began to spread here.

Excess deaths are above those likely to be experienced in normal circumstances, acc- ording to the report from the Central Statistics Office.

The number of death notices in September stands at 2,353, which is broadly in line with the previous years' mortality statistics.

This contrasts with the pronounced increase in death notices placed on RIP.ie last April when the number rose from 2,861 in March to 3,502.

Death notices show an increase in mentions of "home" as the place of death, rising from 16.1pc in October 2019 to 25.8pc in September 2020

Commenting on the results, statistician John Flanagan said: "Since the end of March 2020, the CSO has been using the website RIP.ie to keep track of death notices.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we began to explore experimental ways of obtaining up-to-date mortality data.

"Because of 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."

The Department of Health figures for Covid-related deaths up to Sunday stood at 1,915.

It counts confirmed, probable and possible deaths. It is expected the Covid-related death toll for last month will be around 100.

It has been growing again over recent weeks.

average

Mr 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."

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A previous analysis published in July covered the period October 2019 to June 2020, and this update includes data to the end of September 2020, providing analysis of 12 months of death notices published on RIP.ie.

It said the biggest increase in death notices was recorded in April and is in notable contrast to previous years.

The number of death notices in that month rose to 3,502.

By comparison, the average number of deaths for April for the years 2013 to 2017 was around 2,500.

Meanwhile, death notices for September stood at 2,353.

Based on an overall analysis of death notices, excess mortality for the period March to September 2020 is estimated to be between 876 and 1,192.


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