More people died in Belgium this year than in any year since WWII

This year will go down in history as the year in which more people died in Belgium than in any year since the end of the Second World War. The figures on the number of deaths recorded in Belgium so far this year appear in an article in Monday’s edition of the daily ‘De Standaard”. April and November 2020 appear among the top 5 months for deaths since 1945.  

April and November were the months in which the first and second waves of the novel coronavirus pandemic peaked in Belgium. In no other April or November since the end of World War II did so many people die in Belgium as in April and November 2020.

The figures show that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has probably been just as deadly as the first. The demographer Professor Patrick Deboosere of Brussels’ Dutch-medium Free University (VUB) told ‘De Standaard’ that "If the figures continue to stabilise and remain at 100 people dying each day during the next few weeks, it could be the case that the second wave is more deadly than the first”.

However, April and November 2020 weren’t the months with the highest number of deaths since the end of the Second World War. This dubious honour falls to February 1960 during which more than 15,000 Belgians died of flu.

Coronavirus has resulted in excess mortality and this is evident in this year’s mortality figures. By the end of the year excess mortality in Belgium is likely to have reached 15,000. In no other year since 1945 has excess mortality been so high here. 

The top five most deadly months since 1945

1) February 1960 (Flu virus)

2) April 2020 (Coronavirus)

3) January 1951 (Flu virus)

4) November 2020 (Coronavirus)

5) January 1970 (Flu virus)

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