The Real Death Count

SPN INE Figures for DeathsThe number of Covid-19 deaths is something that some, if not many, countries may have been tempted to cook but there is one sure way of knowing how many deaths it has caused.

It is very simple and does not require a super-computer to work out; compare the deaths during March, for example with the same month in previous years, make a graph and join the dots. Any extra deaths can reasonably be put down to Covid-19.

This is what the INE (Instituto Nacional de Estatísticas) has done and whose report calculates the number of extra deaths between the beginning of March until the 24th of May as 48,000. This almost doubles the official figure offered by the Government.

The report calculates the number of deaths, irrespective of cause, as 143,204 during those weeks. This number is far higher that the same period of 2019 (95,099) 2018 (97,897) 2017 (92,972) and 2016 (94,855).

The official number offered by the Government is 27,128, which is some 20,977 short of the extra deaths registered.

Does that mean that the Central Government has deliberately lied? No, the Government gets its information from each of the 17 autonomous governments – each day these regional governments send in their figures and they are totalled up and offered each day during a press call before the nation.

Next question: does it mean that the regional governments are lying? That’s a little bit more difficult to negate. During the first month or so of the pandemic each region calculated the number of deaths using a different system: some didn’t count deaths in care homes for the elderly; other did, for example.

As for the hardest hit areas of Spain, the reports reflects that the region of Madrid had a 72.7% increase, Castilla-La Mancha 58.0% and Cataluña 41.0% above the figure for preceding years. The least hit areas, on the other hand, showed a minimum increase: Balearic Islands 0.5% and Murcia 1.1%.

There is no doubt that regional governments were keen to offer the most positive figures so that their region could pass to the next phase. Just how ‘keen’ they were might one day surface or… perhaps forever remain at the bottom of the swamp.

(News/Editorial: Spain)

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