The estimated number of deaths in Spain during the first 21 weeks of 2020, until May 24, amounts to 225,930 people, representing a 24.1% increase (43,945 more) compared to the same period of the previous year, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) and received from civil registries combined with historical information from the 2000 death statistics, in order to estimate the deaths that occurred during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These data contrast with the official figures provided by the Ministry of Health on the coronavirus, which collect a total of 27,127 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic. However, the INE points out that “since these data reflect mortality without distinguishing causes, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be accurately measured, but a considerable increase in the number of deaths in Spain is observed” .

According to this report, the week with the highest number of deaths was 14 (comprising from March 30 to April 5) with 20,575 people dead, 154.6 percent more than in the same week of 2019. In part, during weeks 12 to 16 (from March 16 to April 19) the increase in deaths was always greater than 50 percent. In week 21, last studied, the number of deaths is estimated at 7,470 people, a figure similar to that of the same week in 2019, when there were 7,429 deaths.

By age, the highest cumulative increases in deaths in the first 21 weeks are among those over 90 years of age (with 12,824 more deaths, 27.2% more than in the same period of 2019) and in those of the age group of 85 to 89 years (with an increase of 10,006 deaths, an increase of 25.0%). On the other hand, in the ages below 54 years there are hardly any differences regarding the deaths registered in the same weeks of the year 2019.

By Autonomous Community, the greatest increases in deaths in the first 21 weeks of the year occurred in the Community of Madrid (72.7%), Castilla-La Mancha (58.0%) and Catalonia (41.0%). Conversely, the smallest increases were observed in the Balearic Islands (0.5%) and Murcia (1.1%). Specifically, in Madrid there have been 35,647 deaths, compared to 20,636 last year; in Castilla-La Mancha there have been 13,571, compared to 8,591 in 2019; and 39,539 in Catalonia, compared to 28,045 the previous year.

This INE statistic, called ‘Estimate of Weekly Deaths during the COVID-19 (EDeS) outbreak’, will be published every two weeks, always on Wednesdays (except holidays) and offering data 10 days late. Therefore, this first publication provides data up to week 21 of 2020, which ended on Sunday, May 24 (inclusive). As provisional data from the Medical Death Certificate / Statistical Death Bulletin become available, the estimates will be replaced by these provisional data.

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