There was an unusually high number of deaths among people aged 70 and over in March, April, and May this year compared to 2012–2019, reports Fréttablaðið. The data was published on the website of the National Medical Examiner.
The report also says that in the same age group, there were unusually few deaths between June and August in 2020 and in January, February, March, September, and October in 2021.
It seems likely that the preventive measures that were in place during these periods protected people older than 70 because not only was there little Covid infection in that age group, but the number of infections in general decreased greatly during this time.
Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says: “We know that there were unusually few other infections during these periods in these years, probably because of the measures that were in place.”
“There was a special emphasis on protecting this age group, and that’s why we all succeeded together in preventing deaths in this group,” adds Þórólfur. “We cannot say that it is because of Covid or something else that the number of deaths is decreasing or increasing, but we have also seen on the death certificates since the beginning of the pandemic that then Covid is specified as a disease that people died from. Then people got sicker and were hospitalized with Covid, got severe pneumonia and died from it.”
More than two hundred deaths have been recorded in Iceland since the beginning of the pandemic as deaths caused by Covid.
“In those cases, we can say that Covid was the primary cause or that Covid may have contributed to the death in some way, whether it had a big or a small effect,” says Þórólfur. According to him, when death rates decrease in certain periods, as happened in June, July, and August in 2020, a higher death rate can be expected in other periods. “People die at some point, and if we have a decrease in deaths at one point, it is likely that we will have an increase later,” he adds.
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