Around 5,000 people died in NL last week, 2,000 more than average

An estimated 5 thousand people died in the Netherlands last week, the 15th week of 2020 which spanned from April 6 to 12. That is around 2 thousand more deaths than the average for the first 10 weeks of the year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday.

The stats office stressed that death registration was delayed around Easter, something that always happens around public holidays. That means the deaths estimate is more uncertain. "The number of deaths in week 15 is very likely between 4,700 and 5,300." It is clear that mortality is still higher than in the first 10 weeks of the year. And last week's number of deaths is comparable to week 14, the stats office said.

"The higher mortality coincides with the onset of the corona epidemic in the Netherlands," Statistics Netherlands said. The first patient tested positive for Covid-19 on February 27, and the first coronavirus related death in the Netherlands was on March 6. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. 

In week 14 a total of 5,037 people died in the Netherlands, and 1,077 Covid-19 deaths were reported to the RIVM. For week 15, the RIVM has 892 registered Covid-19 deaths. Because not all the people who died in recent weeks were tested for the coronavirus, the number of Covid-19 deaths may be higher. "By looking at the total number of deaths per week as reported to Statistics Netherlands - so regardless of the cause of death - a more complete picture is created."

Over the past weeks, the increased mortality in the Netherlands was particularly visible among older people. According to estimates based on available information, the stats office believes around 1,850 more people aged 65 or older died last week than the average for the first 10 weeks of the year. That is about the same number as in week 14.