Almost 28,000 Covid-19 deaths in 2020, PSA says

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THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said almost 28,000 people died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in 2020, more than double the official death toll by the Department of Health (DOH).

In a report on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the PSA listed Covid-19 as the seventh leading cause of death in the Philippines last year, after heart disease, neoplasms/cancer, cerebrosvascular disease, diabetes, pneumonia and hypertensive disease.

The agency said it listed both confirmed and probable Covid-19 deaths based on the descriptions provided in the medical certificate portion of the death certificate.

The DOH, on the other hand, lists only confirmed deaths recorded in its surveillance system. Covid-19 was included among the notifiable diseases in the country last year, making it mandatory for all health facilities and offices to report cases to the DOH.

In its report, the PSA said there were 27,967 Covid-19 deaths, or 4.9 percent of the total mortalities, in 2020.

Seven out of 10 Covid-19 deaths, or a total of 19,758, were classified as “Covid-19 with virus not identified,” which means these were listed as Covid-19 deaths even when the infection was not confirmed at the time of death.

The remaining 8,209 Covid-19 deaths were classified as “Covid-19 with virus identified.”

Five of the 17 regions reported over 1,000 Covid-19 deaths.

The highest number of deaths occurred in the National Capital Region (12,582), Calabarzon (6,914), Central Luzon (2,576), Central Visayas (1,863) and Western Visayas (1,080).

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reported the lowest number of registered Covid-19 deaths at 37.

The DOH, on the other hand, has reported 12,866 confirmed Covid-19 deaths as of March 17, 2.02 percent of the 635,698 cumulative cases in the country.

Other leading causes of death in the Philippines in 2020 were ischemic heart diseases (99,680 deaths), neoplasms/cancer (62,289), cerebrosvascular diseases (59,736), diabetes (37,265), pneumonia (32,574), hypertensive diseases (29,511), chronic lower respiratory infections (19,463), other heart diseases (19,298) and tuberculosis (17,433). (JOB)