High mortality rate in 2020 mainly due to an ageing population, not coronavirus
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High mortality rate in 2020 mainly due to an ageing population, not coronavirus

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Belgium’s higher mortality rate in 2020 is likely not linked to the coronavirus pandemic, but rather an ageing population.

“The relative excess of mortality in Belgium in 2020 appears to be primarily, if not essentially, a reflection of the ageing of the Belgian population, rather than a reflection of a particularly dangerous infectious phenomenon,” said a report from Christophe de Brouwer, a professor at Brussels University’s School of Public Health.

The study indicates that the excess mortality in 2020 specifically affected people over the age of 85, and makes note of August’s heatwave and “poor health management.”

The rate for 2020 was similar to that of 2003, which saw a heatwave similar to the one last summer.

“We are therefore experiencing a crisis that appears to be essentially linked to the ageing of the population,” de Brouwer said in his report, calling on Belgium to consider taking steps to improve the medical care of the country’s most elderly residents.

There have been 22,786 deaths in Belgium attributed to the coronavirus, so far.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times