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Up to 1,192 ‘excess deaths’ between March and September

Number of death notices increased as pandemic hit in spring

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Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health last week. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health last week. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health last week. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Between 876 and 1,192 “excess deaths” have been recorded in this country from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March to September, new figures reveal today.

The deaths cannot all be linked to Covid-19 but the CSO figures shed light on some of the toll the virus has taken since it first began to spread here.

Excess deaths are above those likely to be experienced in normal circumstances, according to the report by the Central Statistics Office.

The number of death notices in September stands at 2,353 which is broadly in line with previous years’ mortality statistics.

This contrasts with the pronounced increase in death notices placed on RIP.ie last April when the number rose from 2,861 in March to 3,502.

Death notices show an increase in mentions of ‘home’ as the place of death, rising from 16.1pc in October 2019 to 25.8pc in September 2020.

Commenting on the results, statistician John Flanagan said: “Since the end of March 2020, the CSO has been using the website RIP.ie to keep track of death notices. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we began to explore experimental ways of obtaining up-to-date mortality data.”

Because of the Irish custom of holding funerals within two or three days of death, these notices are usually placed in an efficient manner, providing a valuable crowd-sourced means of tracking deaths.

The Department of Health figures for Covid-related deaths up to Sunday stood at 1,915. It counts confirmed, probable and possible deaths.

It is expected the Covid-related death toll for October will be around 100. It has been growing again in recent weeks.

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