Directly or indirectly attributed to the first wave of Kovid-19 infection in 21 rich countries this year, the death toll has risen by an average of 20 percent, according to a study published on Wednesday.
Looking at the period from mid-February to May 2020, researchers reported 206,000 more deaths than expected without an epidemic.
However, only 167,148 coronaviruses have been officially discovered, which have turned the world upside down since the beginning of the year, infecting millions.
Many of the approximately 40,000 unaccounted deaths were due to Covid-19 but are not listed as such, especially at the onset of the epidemic when overcrowded hospitals in some countries are unable to systematically test patients.
Others may result in disruptions in health care, such as missed treatment for cancer or lack of emergency services after a heart attack or accident.
Majid Azati, a senior author and professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London, told AFP that the effects of epidemics on death go beyond infection alone because it “indirectly” affects death. ” Azati told AFP.
More mortality for all reasons for a 15-week period varies rapidly in the countries under investigation.
It was highest in Spain and England and Wales, with 100 “extra” deaths per 100,000 people, about 37 per cent more than the epidemic expected to be absent.
– Deceptively difficult –
The study found that England and Wales, Spain and Italy accounted for three-quarters of all deaths. Belgium and Scotland were also hit hard.
At the other end of the spectrum, countries with no significant increase in spring deaths include Bulgaria, New Zealand, Slovakia, Australia, Australia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
The rest of the countries analyzed – Ria Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Sweden – fell somewhere in between.
More than 206,000 deaths were evenly shared between men and women, with hospitals found to be at odds with mortality, with a significant proportion of victims being men.
Scientists say it is difficult to determine how many people died during the epidemic.
Tails limited to “confirmed cases” will miss many covid deaths that were misdiagnosed or not tested in the first place.
Methods also vary.
“The death toll from Covid-1 is calculated differently in different countries,” said Kevin M. Coconwe, a professor of applied statistics at the University of the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study.
– Creating a better model –
Such an approach usually compares the number of deaths during an epidemic or other disaster with the same period in previous years.
“But Azati and his colleagues went ahead, creating a model” in which things like weather, trends and temperatures are used to predict the number that would be expected if an epidemic had not occurred. “
Research has shown that fast-moving countries with short-term downtime are more likely to have short-term deaths.
There was also a strong statistical link between higher per capita spending on healthcare and lower mortality rates during the first wave of infection.
A strong and equitable health system is the only way to address existing inequalities and make the country resilient to future epidemics, Ezzati said.
Meanwhile, a study published Monday in the journal The American Medical Association (JMA), based on an analysis of death records, found that Covid-19 was directly responsible for every two deaths in the United States from March to July, the third as a result of the American epidemic. Even died.
Deaths from all causes in the United States – usually stable year after year – increased by 20 percent during the period under investigation.
The data also showed that the first states to ease restrictions on public gatherings, in April and May, saw a faster increase in infections and deaths in the following months.
“The high count in the Sun Belt” – which includes Texas, Arizona and Florida – “shows us the serious consequences of how some states responded to the epidemic,” said Steven Wolfe, lead author of Emeritus, director of the Society and Health Center. At Virginia Commonwealth University.
MH / PVH