Despide Covid, PSA data shows fewer deaths in PHL in 1st half of 2020

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Despite the pandemic, the number of Filipinos who died decreased in the first semester of the year compared to last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on data released on Friday, PSA said the total deaths in the Philippines reached only 259,426 between January and June 2020, a 16.05 percent contraction from the 309,010 deaths in the same period last year.

However, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa told BusinessMirror that this is only a preliminary figure. He said late reporting is expected for April 2020 and May 2020.

“Yes, there will be an increase particularly in June 2020. We are waiting for reports from about 17 provinces for June 2020. Although all cities in the NCR (National Capital Region) submitted their reports already. We will provide regular updates as soon as information from the provinces are available,” Mapa said.

Mapa added, however, that the number of deaths in 2019 was extraordinarily high. He said this was largely due to the higher number of Filipinos who died due to circulatory and respiratory system diseases.

In the fullyear of 2019, Mapa said a total of 210,390 Filipinos died of circulatory system diseases, a 4.42 percent increase from 201,483 deaths in 2018.

Mapa said that respiratory diseases, meanwhile, claimed the lives of 94,429 Filipinos in 2019, a 7.65 percent increase from the 87,720 who died from the disease in 2018.

“2019 is high in terms of deaths. Look at the average of 2015-2019. The months of January and February 2020 had a higher (deaths) than the average of January 2015-2019 and February 2015-2019, respectively,” Mapa added.

The PSA also said that the gaps from the registered deaths in the same months of the previous year were lowest in February 2020 where 45,730 Filipinos died compared to 48,806 in 2019. This translates to a 3,076 difference or a contraction of 6.3 percent.

This was followed by January 2020 with a total of 53,078 deaths compared to 57,704 deaths in the same month in 2019. This was a difference of 4,626 or a contraction of 8.02 percent.

“Bigger gaps from the registered deaths in 2019 can be observed beginning March, but these gaps are expected to narrow as more deaths during those months get registered,” PSA said.

Data also showed that the number of late registrations, or those whose deaths were registered beyond 30 days after the occurrence, for March and April 2020 showed a dramatic rise compared to the same months in 2019.

As of 24 July 2020, late registrations for March 2020 deaths, reached 4,073. This represented a 282 percent increase from 1,066 in March 2019. In April 2020, late registration of 3,522 already recorded a growth of about 182 percent from the 1,250 late registrations in April 2019.

Consequently, PSA said, since the period for timely registration of deaths which occurred in March until May this year has already ended, only the number of late registrations for deaths occurring during this period are bound to increase as more deaths may still be registered in the coming days.

“Moreover, while the period for timely registration of death occurrences in June is still open, no late registration was recorded yet for the month,” PSA said.  

Data also showed that in Metro Manila, Quezon City registered the highest number of deaths in the NCR during the first quarter of 2020 at 3,847 or 20.5 percent of the total registered deaths in the region. The city similarly had the highest share in 2019, with 4,462 or 22.3 percent of the total deaths during the first quarter.

The City of Manila recorded the second highest with 2,936 registered deaths or 15.7 percent of the total while the City of Caloocan came in third with 2,279 deaths or 12.2 percent of the total registered deaths in the NCR.

Manila and Caloocan were the cities with the second and third highest deaths in 2019 with 3,070 at 15.3 percent and 2,339 at 11.7 percent of the total deaths, respectively.

Together with Quezon City, these cities comprised nearly half of the total registered deaths or 49.3 percent of the total in 2019, and 48.4 percent of the total in 2020.

Meanwhile, Pateros had the lowest number of deaths in the NCR with shares of 0.6 percent at 113 deaths, and 0.5 percent at 101 deaths in the first quarters of 2019 and 2020, respectively.###

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