According to the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO), there was a 15 percent increase in the number of deaths in the Czech Republic last year. Such a year-over-year change is quite unusual in Czech history.
According to preliminary data, 129,100 people died last year, which is almost 17,000 more than in 2019. Statistics do not provide specific reasons for the increase in mortality, but COVID-19 certainly contributed. According to the Ministry of Health, 11,872 people died in connection with the coronavirus last year.
Most people died in November, with the increase in deaths most pronounced in the 75-84 age group and more men than women. On a regional basis, the Zlín Region had the largest increase in the number of deaths for 2020, exceeding the 2019 figure by almost 25 percent.
“Most deaths occurred in November, when there were 15,700. Another 14,200 people died in October and 14,000 in December. Over 14,000 deaths per month were last registered in December 1995,“ said Michaela Němečková from the Czech Statistical Office’s Demographic Statistics Department.
During November, specifically in the 44th and 45th weeks of the year, deaths were twice the usual number. These are also the weeks in which the Ministry of Health reported the highest number of deaths in connection with the COVID-19 infection.
After this peak, the number stabilized at a 40 percent year-over-year increase and did not decrease further for the rest of the year.
According to the Czech Statistical Office, after adjusting the data for the impact of the continuing aging of the population, it turns out that if the mortality rate last year had been the same as in 2019, the number of deaths would have increased by only 2,000 people.
Lower life expectancy
“The 2020 estimate for life expectancy is 75.3 years for men and 81.4 years for women. Compared to 2019, this is a decrease of one year for men and 0.7 years for women. The unfavorable epidemic situation in 2020 thus manifested itself more in men. Life expectancy in 2020 roughly corresponds to the situation in 2013, so we’ve gone back seven years,“ pointed out Terezie Štyglerová, head of the Demographic Statistics Department.
Title image: Healthcare workers move a COVID-19 patient to the Motol Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The hospital in Prague admitted five patients in serious condition from hospitals that were overrun due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)