DURING the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, official figures have revealed that deaths in certain parts of Europe were a staggering nine times higher than usual.
Bergamo, a city in northern Italy, faced a particularly dire situation, recording 156.1 deaths per 100,000 people in the week leading up to March 20, 2020.
This figure was a shocking 800.5% higher than the average for that time of year, marking it as the deadliest period of the pandemic in Europe, as confirmed by data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Nationally, Italy saw the highest peak in death rates during the week leading to March 27, 2020, with a shocking 74.1% more deaths than expected.
Italy’s initial wave of Covid-19 cases emerged in Lombardy in February 2020, and the subsequent surge in deaths occurred in March.
The country’s high death toll was attributed to factors such as its ageing population and an overstressed healthcare system.
Spain and France followed suit with peaks in death rates, one week later, with a respective increase of 138.5% and 50.2%. Deaths were concentrated primarily around Madrid and Paris.
After Bergamo, El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, experienced the highest spike in death rates in 2020 (621%), followed by Segovia, northern Spain (620.4%).
In 2021, El Hierro (595.7%), Lungau in southwestern Austria (389.1%), and Mayotte, a French overseas territory (379.1%), reported the most significant increases.
In 2022, the largest spikes in deaths were reported in Lungau (376%), Außerfern in Austria (228.9%), and Eilean Siar in Scotland (184.1%).
The figures have been compiled by the ONS, which conducted a thorough analysis of relative age-standardised mortality rates throughout Europe.
This analysis spanned every week from December 28, 2019, to July 1, 2022, and compared the recorded death rates during this period to those logged between 2015 and 2019.
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