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Nearly 170,000 more deaths in EU during first coronavirus wave

Almost 170,000 more people died in 26 EU countries during the first wave of the coronavirus between March and June than during the previous four years on average, official figures show.

Almost 170,000 more people died in 26 EU countries during the first wave of the coronavirus between March and June than during the previous four years on average, official figures show.

The European Union’s statistical office Eurostat said that between beginning of March and end of June, 168,000 more deaths were recorded in 26 EU countries.

“These data include all deaths, irrespective of their causes, but can be useful for assessing the direct and indirect effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the European population,” Eurostat said in a press release.

Ireland is not included as the office had not yet received its data, Eurostat press officer Ana-Maria Marola said.

The office found that the peak of the additional deaths took place in the week from the end of March until the beginning of April, with 36,000 additional deaths being recorded.

In March, men were more heavily affected than women. Conversely, more women died in April and early May. The numbers, however, converged at the beginning of June.

The first country hit hard by the pandemic in Europe was Italy, followed by Spain. Those two countries also account for the highest jump in deaths: Spain recorded 48,000 more deaths than on average in the previous four years, and Italy 46,000.

The age of people of the additional deaths also mirrors that of those most vulnerable to the coronavirus: About 96 per cent of the 168,000 additional deaths were aged 70 or older.

In mid-June, the numbers looked less alarming compared to the previous four years, 2,2000 fewer deaths were recorded in 2020, according to Eurostat.

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