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Pandemic year saw fewer deaths, finds Kerala govt study

The report comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Kerala. The state is now ranked second in the country in terms of total confirmed cases.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
February 5, 2021 1:49:39 am
The report said many developed countries reported a huge increase in all-cause mortality numbers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Kerala Health Department study says that there was a 11.1 per cent reduction in absolute number of deaths in the state in the pandemic year of 2020 compared to 2019.

The report said many developed countries reported a huge increase in all-cause mortality numbers during the coronavirus pandemic. The fall in that figure in Kerala is the result of preventive steps taken by the government, it said. “This also shows the success of steps taken in providing preventive and curative health services by the health services department.’’

The report comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Kerala. The state is now ranked second in the country in terms of total confirmed cases.

When the absolute number of deaths is converted to crude death rates it was 7.5 per 1,000 population in 2019 and is only 6.8 per 1000 population in 2020, the report says. The absolute number of deaths reported in Kerala in 2020 was 2,34,536 as against 2,63,901 in 2019. The absolute number of deaths had been 2,36,808 in 2015 and has increased year by year to reach 2,63,901 in 2019 before going down during the year of pandemic, the report said.

The report said that in Kerala, there might be a delay in registration of deaths and some more deaths might get reported in 2020. “But it has to be noted that 92 per cent of births have been registered in the vital registration system in 2020 as compared to 2019, so it reflects the left-out portion will be minimal.”

To buttress the argument that the absolute number of deaths in Kerala has come down in 2020, the government said annual crude death per one lakh population in 2019 in Kerala had been 755, in US 871 and in Italy 1447. The corresponding figure for 2020 for Kerala was 681, US 972 and Italy 1571. The report said similar robust data is not available for India or other states as there is a big drop in registration of vital events.

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