Mortality rate back to pre-pandemic levels

With 300 deaths per day in Belgium there is currently no excess mortality. According to figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistic Statbel the number of people dying in Belgium each day is now back at the level it was prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

During the 5 years between the start of 2015 and the end of 2019 the average of number of deaths in Belgium fluctuated between 295 and 303 per day. Statbel’s latest figures show that the mortality rate in Belgium now stands at 300 deaths/day. The figure of 300/day includes all deaths, be they from illnesses (including COVID-19), accidents or simply due to old age.

Stabel’s latest figures are in stark contrast to those on the mortality rate during 2020. Last year there were an average of 347 deaths each day. This is around 1/6 more than the average number of deaths each day during previous years. Last year 18,105 more people died in Belgium than was the case in 2019, an increase of 16.64%. Like many other countries Belgium was subject to excess mortality in 2020. 

COVID-19 3rd biggest cause of death in 2020

The impact of the pandemic on the mortality figures is clear to see. The peaks in deaths largely coincide with the peaks of the first and second waves of the virus in Belgium. The largest number of deaths recorded on any one day last year was 675 on 10 April 2020, at the height of the first wave. Of the 675 people that died on 10 April 301 died of COVID-19. Another smaller peak came in August during last summer’s heatwave.

This year so far COVID-19 is the 4th most frequent cause of death. 

Why are the figures back to normal?

There are several explanations as to why the mortality figures have returned back to pre-corona levels. One of these is the fact that there has been no heatwave this summer. Another is the very high vaccination rate in Belgium. 

Currently 83.3% of the adult population is fully immunised. Among those over 65, 91% are immunised against coronavirus. 

During 2020 18,486 people over the age of 65 died after having become infected with coronavirus. This is 16.8% of all deaths within this age group. So far in 2021 4,957 people over the age of 65 have died after having contracted coronavirus. This is 9% of all deaths in the over-65 age group. 

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