Although the population is only about 12 million, Belgium is credited to over 9,000 deaths from nCoV, almost twice the Chinese, where the epidemic started.
The mortality rate for nCoV in Belgium is 16.4%, the highest in the world. This is also the global leader in human mortality, with 78 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, this number is in the US, Spain and Italy respectively 26, 58 and 52 respectively.
The Belgian authorities said the reason the numbers became so frightened not by the overloaded health system, which From statistical ways. Different from many countries, Belgium counted both deaths in nursing homes in total deaths, even if they had not yet confirmed the virus infection.
“We are often criticized for making Belgium look bad, but we think it is the opposite. If you want to compare our numbers to other countries, you essentially have to reduce them to half, “said Steven Van Gucht, head of the department in charge of viral diseases at the Belgium Sciensano Community Health Institute.
Approximately 95% of deaths by Covid-19 at nursing homes have not received nCoV test results, but Belgium still decides to include them in statistics based on the symptoms and contact history, aiming to get a clearer view of the epidemic, as well as detecting better “hotspots”. The deaths of nCoV outside the hospital in Belgium usually account for about half of all deaths.
“Our statistical methodology is the most accurate and honest science”, the virologist Yves Van Laethem, spokesperson for the Belgian Government, replied to reporter 15/5.
Van Laethem explained to the press that The Belgian Covid-19 track “Excess deaths” during the great epidemic period, i.e. the number of deaths exceeded predictions based on the same period of mortality in previous years. From 16/3 to 26/4, Belgium reported 7,559 people died of nCoV. The Economist also estimates that the number of deaths in excess of the same period of the country is 7,397, close to the above figures.
For comparison, researchers at Yale University of America, in partnership with the Washington Post, analyzed data on the number of deaths in America this month. The results are based on excess deaths indicating that the number of people dying from nCoV in the U.S. could be half a number of statistics.
However, the Belgian statistical method is said to be potentially more problematic when used for comparison between countries. The collection of adequate data may be delayed, resulting in deficiencies. The total estimated number of deaths may also include those who are not related to the Covid-19, but do not seek access to a medical institution for the epidemic. In addition, this metric is subject to other impacts of the blockade order, as the number of deaths from traffic accidents will be less.
“The statistical method of countries in the European Union is still not the same, there is a risk of misleading political, as well as different perception of the crisis,” said Pascal Canfin, chair of the Medical and Environmental Committee of the European Parliament, for hay.
Even after exceeding the number of deaths, Belgium was the third most heavily influenced by Covid-19 world after Britain and Spain, according to the Economist’s analysis. The magazine does not calculate figures in the US, but the estimated mortality rate in New York city is much higher than in the UK.
The Belgian officials also admitted that the epidemic had attacked sharply into the country. “We statistically very accurately, but that does not alleviate the truth is that we are also seriously affected,” Van Gucht said.
He gives or one of the possible causes is Belgium’s population density is more dense than neighboring countries. Brussels Airport, the international transportation hub, may have caused the pathogen to be “sprayed” across the crowded capital region. Many Belgians also go skiing in northern Italy, the country’s center, during the last 2 months.
The Belgian nursing institutes accounted for more than half of the deaths from nCoV, partly by Elderly people in this country tend to live in nursing homes more than other European countries.. Health officials acknowledge they slowly recognize the risk of spreading nCoV from these bases.
The World Health Organization said that half of the people who died from nCoV in Europe could be elderly in the nursing home. The Belgian officials assess the status of their nursing homes not to be worse than elsewhere in Europe and have been controlled, thanks to the work of reviewand provide protective supplies to employees.
The administration also boasts that even at the peak of the epidemic, the percentage of active care beds that are used have never exceeded 60%. However, they acknowledge Belgium, a wealthy country and a relatively high medical capacity, which in fact has been severely affected, regardless of how the number is calculated.
“The Virus in western Europe has spread a lot in our country,” Van Gucht said.
Pearl (According to Washington Post, Bloomberg)