Worrying spike in mortality over Christmas

According to data from the Death Certificates Information System (SICO), mortality in Portugal has peaked since last weekend, while Christmas Day this year, with 442 deaths, was the day when the most people died in the last 10 years. Two days later, the daily death was up again, this time to 463. The majority of fatalities suffered by people already with chronic conditions. Health minister Manuel Pizarro has admitted the data is worrying but warns that it needs to be analysed carefully. “In mortality curves, we can’t analyse individual days, we have to look at them as a whole,” he said, adding that, compared to previous years, there was a much lower mortality rate in October and November this year.