The total mortality rate in the Netherlands was significantly elevated in the week of 30 April to 6 May 2020. However, excess mortality was much lower than in previous weeks. A total of 3,101 deaths were reported this week; we would normally expect to see between 2,585 and 2,889 deaths at this time of year. That means there were between 212 and 516 more deaths than would be expected. These numbers more or less correspond to the reported deaths from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in the same week (=347). Mortality was elevated in the age category of 65-74 years and significantly elevated in the age category of 75 years and older. Mortality was elevated in all provinces, with the exception of the provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe.

Mortality among people who receive care based on the Long-Term Care Act (WLZ)

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) investigated the excess mortality among people who receive care based on the Long-Term Care Act (Wet Langdurige Zorg, WLZ). This includes people who live in a nursing home, care home or other care facility, but also people who receive 24-hour care at home. Excess mortality among people receiving long-term care rose following the start of the corona crisis, with some delay.  In the first 10 weeks of 2020, there were an average of 1,160 deaths per week died among people in this group. The highest number of deaths in this group so far in 2020 was reported in week 15, from 6-12 April. There were 2,400 deaths in that week. In the week of 27 April – 3 May, there were 1,400 deaths in this group.

Number of deaths continue to decrease in rest of population

In the first ten weeks of 2020, there were an average of 1,972 deaths per week among the rest of the population in the Netherlands (i.e. people not receiving long-term care under the WLZ). The highest number of deaths so far in 2020 was reported in week 14, from 30 March to 5 April. There were 2,868 deaths in that week. After that, the number of deaths decreased to 2,200 in the week of 13-19 April. The excess mortality in the Netherlands remained stable in the week of 20-26 April. In the week of 27 April to 3 May, excess mortality decreased even further to 1,890.

Excess mortality

Excess mortality has been observed since mid-March 2020. The rising number of additional deaths coincided with the start of the coronavirus epidemic in the Netherlands. The expectation is that a significant percentage of the excess mortality can be attributed to COVID-19. How high that percentage is will become clear later on in the records stating cause of death.
The actual number of people dying from the consequences of the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands is higher than the reported numbers published daily by RIVM. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and RIVM monitor the mortality figures in the Netherlands. Not all people who die in the Netherlands have been tested for COVID-19. Looking at the total number of deaths per week as reported to Statistics Netherlands – regardless of the cause of death – provides a more complete overview of the situation in the Netherlands.

News item:  Statistics Netherlands publishes mortality figures for first 9 weeks of corona epidemic

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has published a news item today on the number of people who died in the first 9 weeks of the epidemic (only in Dutch).