LISBON – Portugal is debating Eurostat data on excess mortality in the EU zone, published on August 17. According to the first European statistical office, in June the excess mortality rate in the country was 23.9%, almost four times higher than the European average of 6.2%. For the fifth consecutive month, Portugal leads the ranking (Spain is second with 16.7%). In the rest of Europe, in fact, the percentage of additional deaths compared to the average mortality rate recorded until the explosion of the Covid-19 pandemic is in a decreasing phase, while it has increased in Portugal for the fifth consecutive month.
According to the latest Eurostat data referring to June 2022, the excess mortality rate in the EU fell to 6.2% from 7% in May and 11.2% in April. The previous largest peak was recorded in November 2021 (+27%), during the fourth wave of excess mortality since March 2020. The substantial increase in excess mortality largely coincides with the Covid-19 epidemic, even whether the indicator does not discriminate between causes of death and does not identify gender or age differences.
In Portugal, the rate jumped to 23.9% in June, from 19.2% in May and 12.5% in April. The figures have sparked controversy in the country. Part of the scientific community urged to cross-check the data before giving in to the alarm. The mathematician Carlos Antunes of the University of Lisbon, for example, in statements to the Lusa news agency recalled that mortality in Portugal has gradually increased since 2009 due to the aging of the population.
Inevitably, however, the finger has been pointed by many (starting with the political world, with the far-right Chega party, which presented a parliamentary interrogation) against the inefficiency of the national health system, which has often defrayed the chronic this summer due to emergencies. which were closed for lack of staff. Another issue discussed was the energy poverty of the Portuguese as deaths increased with spikes in heat and cold.
Portugal is one of the countries with the highest rate of vaccinated population in Europe, at 87.33% according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In Spain, 86.88% of the population is vaccinated.