4,564 people died in Israel in October 2020, which is 960, or 26%, more than in October 2019, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics this week. In September 2020, 4,134 people died in Israel, 731, or 21%, more than in September 2019. In August, 4,011 people died, 516, or 14%, more than in August 2019.
The excess mortality numbers match fairly closely the statistics for deaths from Covid-19. In October this year, 956 fatalities from Covid-19 were reported. The figure for September was 643, and the figure for August was 385. The remaining excess mortality not accounted for by reported deaths from Covid-19 is probably also attributable to the disease, and to its indirect effects, as it may have made it more difficult for people with other conditions to obtain effective medical treatment.
Looking at the year as a whole, it can be seen that in January, February and March, the mortality rate in Israel was slightly lower than in the same months in 2019, while in April it rose to a level similar to that of April 2019. The gap began to become wide in July, and grew in each subsequent month. The October figure might be revised upwards, as usually happens with these statistics. Mortality figures for November, which will include the effect of the second lockdown, have not yet been published. There is no evidence from the published figures that deaths from Covid-19 earlier in the year led to lower mortality numbers in later months, that is to say, no support for the claim that these deaths would have occurred within months anyway from other causes.
The mortality rate in October was similar to that in the previous January, a month in which winter ailments take their toll. In normal years, mortality in Israel is highest in December and January, subsides until June, and then starts rising again until it reaches a peak in the next December and January. The fear is that, this year, there will be extra fatalities on top of the usual high winter numbers. So far, 2,800 people have died from Covid-19 in Israel, which amounts to 6% of the deaths in Israel in a normal year.
The figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics also show a constant gap, starting in August, between deaths of men and deaths of women in Israel, which could have been predicted since more men than women die from Covid-19. From mid-August to the end of October, the gap amounts to a few dozen people each week.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 2, 2020
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