Covid-19 'underlying cause' of 808 deaths in Northern Ireland

Covid-19 was the underlying cause of 53 of the 3,815 deaths recorded between July 1 and September 30. Credit: PA

Covid-19 was the underlying cause of 808 deaths in Northern Ireland this year, according to newly published figures.

The latest statistics were compiled from Registrar General data.

It records 3,815 deaths in Northern Ireland between July 1 to September 30.

Of these, Covid-19 was the underlying cause of 53 which brings the total number of deaths in 2020 where the virus was the underlying cause to 808.

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), there have been 902 deaths this year where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

This would indicate that the virus was the primary cause of death in 89.6% percent of all deaths which mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

Comparatively, the provisional number of deaths due to cancer in 2020 to date is 3,490 - 3.2% higher than for the same period last year.

The number of deaths due to suicide (including deaths as a result of intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent) in 2020 to date is 162 - up from 155 for the same period of 2019.

Meanwhile, Nisra noted the full impact of Covid-19 on mortality in Northern Ireland is "still unfolding", but estimated the excess winter mortality for 2019/20 will increase to 910.

It described this as "in line" with estimates for previous years, after Covid-19 "inflated" the number of deaths usually seen in the non-winter period, particularly April to July, which led to a winter seasonal increase that was lower than usual.

Excess winter mortality was observed as continuing to be higher in females compared with males, with females counting for 53.3% (320) and males counting for 46.7% (280).

Respiratory diseases (not including Covid-19) continued to be the leading cause of excess winter deaths, accounting for 51.7% of the excess winter mortality in 2019/20.