2,800 more deaths than normal in just four weeks
Portugal is no longer just one of the European countries registering higher than normal levels of mortality, it is the country registering the most elevated rate of deaths since at least the last week of December.
With scientists already concerned by the country’s level of excess deaths flagged since the Covid pandemic – promising investigations, but stressing these will ‘take time – we have now reached the point where Portugal’s level of mortality is the highest in Europe.
Depending on where one stands, there are various hypotheses. Today, SIC Notícias suggests it could be related to the excess affluence of people to A&E departments.
SIC is looking at the problem in a limited time frame: “In the space of a month, 2,800 more people than would have been expected have died in Portugal. At issue will be the flu virus and the overcrowding of hospital emergency departments.
“According to data from the Instituto Ricardo Jorge, published this Thursday in Expresso, between December 18 and January 14 there was a 28% excess mortality.
“According to EuroMomo (the European site that monitors mortality) Portugal was the country in the European Union that registered the highest levels of mortality during the last week of December and the first two weeks of January.
“The national association of public health doctors considers that the overcrowding of emergency departments may have jeopardised effective care for people, and contributed to high levels of mortality.
“As we had reduced teams and limited services, it wasn’t possible to reach everyone on time,” Gustavo Tato Borges, President of the National Association of Public Health Doctors explains.
“However hard the health professionals worked, the difficulty of access may have affected some of this mortality,” he said.
Health authorities add that Portugal may have already passed the peak of the flu epidemic, which means what happens next regarding excess mortality will be key to helping explain what may be causing it.
The issue of excess deaths in Portugal began during the pandemic, even before the mass roll-out of Covid vaccines. ND
Source: SIC Notícias