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Monday, April 15, 2024

Deaths in 2020 possibly under-reported–PSA

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MORE Filipinos may have died last year given the projected underreporting that occurred due to the pandemic, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA data showed that the preliminary number of registered deaths from January to December 2020 reached 613,267, lower than the total registered deaths of 620,414 in the same period in 2019.

In an e-mail to BusinessMirror, the PSA Vital Statistics Division (VSD) said the decline may have been due to underreporting, given the lockdowns which prevented many from registering deaths through Offices of the City/Municipal Registrars throughout the country.

“There is the possibility of under-registration in some areas due to the pandemic, and some deaths may not have been registered yet in the Local Civil Registrar. This may also include those who died in remote areas that are far from the Local Civil Registry Offices,” PSA VSD said.

The PSA data also showed an increase in late registration. Data showed late registrations of deaths occurred in March 2020, numbering at 6,765, more than six times the 1,067 in March 2019 late registrations.

PSA data also showed that the April 2020 late registration of 6,263 was five times the recorded 1,249 in April 2019.

The data also showed that in terms of share of late registered deaths since January, about 24.8 percent were March deaths while 23 percent were April deaths, the majority of which were registered in June.

“Relative to their corresponding months in 2019, the increase in late registrations, or those whose deaths were registered beyond 30 days after the occurrence, remained highest for March and April 2020,” the PSA said. “This high number of late registrations may be due to the quarantine measures implemented during these months.”

The PSA said deaths that occurred in August, July, and October were the highest at 56,792 deaths, 54,385 deaths, and 54,117 deaths in 2020,

March and April, when the government placed the country under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), recorded the least number of deaths at 44,711 deaths and 45,941 deaths, respectively.

The data showed that except for March and April, the number of registered deaths from January to December 2020 exceeded their corresponding monthly averages in the last five years.

The biggest increase was recorded in August when the number of deaths exceeded the five-year average by as much as 6,227 deaths.

The PSA noted, however, that the number of registered March and April deaths remain relatively low despite catch up in registration.

“For 2020, the data may have been due to effects of Covid-19, both on deaths and registration. However, we do not have a definite explanation for this yet as to what caused spikes in those months,” PSA said in the e-mail.

“Actually, there is no exact pattern; based on previous data [average from 2015-2019], a high number of deaths also occurred in January, August, and December,” it added.

NCR deaths

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region (NCR) posted 84,331 deaths from January to December 2020, or a 7.3 percent increase from the 78,604 deaths registered in the same period in 2019.

PSA said increases were recorded in 15 out of 17 of its cities/municipalities, with the highest increase in the City of San Juan at 18.2 percent.

Meanwhile, declines in the registered deaths during the period were recorded in the City of Navotas which contracted 8.2 percent and City of Mandaluyong, 0.7 percent.

Quezon City had the highest number of registered deaths in the NCR from January to December 2020 at 18,447 or 21.9 percent of the total registered deaths in the region.

The city similarly had the highest share in 2019, with 17,320 or 22 percent of the total deaths during the same period.

Meanwhile, Manila recorded the second highest with 12,807 registered deaths (15.2 percent); Caloocan came in third with 10,172 (12.1 percent) of the total registered deaths in NCR, maintaining their respective ranks in 2019.

These three cities comprised nearly half of the total registered deaths in NCR in 2019 (49.5 percent) and 2020 (49.1 percent).

The data showed Pateros still had the lowest number of deaths registered in NCR with 457 deaths or 0.5 percent of the total registered deaths during the same period.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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