Coronavirus in Scotland: more deaths recorded in recent four months compared to previous winter

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The number of deaths in Scotland between April and July was higher than in winter for the first time on record due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 21,392 deaths were registered between December and March, while 22,171 were recorded between April and July, according to new figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS), a rise of 779.

The statistical body estimates that without the impact of Covid-19, there would likely have been a decrease in deaths by between 2,200 and 3,000 between the two seasons.

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NRS data published last week showed 4,276 have people died with coronavirus a confirmed or suspected cause.

Nurses dressed in PPE picture: JPI MediaNurses dressed in PPE picture: JPI Media
Nurses dressed in PPE picture: JPI Media

Pete Whitehouse, the director of statistical services at NRS, said: “The seasonal increase in mortality can fluctuate greatly from winter to winter but the long-term trend has tended to be downward.

“We normally see an increase in the number of deaths registered in winter compared to any other time of year.

“This year’s figures are unusual because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and for the first time more deaths have been registered in April to July than in winter.”

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The difference in deaths is calculated by comparing the period of December to March with the average number of deaths registered in the four months before the winter and the four months after.

As a result of the number of deaths recorded from the pandemic – which took hold in March in Scotland – the rise in winter deaths was lower than expected at 550.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease contributed the highest increase last winter, with 400 more people dying from the conditions.

Influenza and pneumonia, illnesses more prevalent during the winter, rose by 90 and 230 respectively when compared to the non-winter months.

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