768K deaths in PH in 2021 highest since post-World War II

By Christine Cudis

February 1, 2022, 8:33 pm

<p>Isolation facilty for Covid-19 patients<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Isolation facilty for Covid-19 patients (File photo)

MANILA – Registered deaths across the Philippines stood at 768,504 from January to November last year, higher by 154,562 than the entire 2020.

This number hiked the country’s mortality rate to 6.98 per thousand, as against 5.8 per thousand in 2020, according to data released by the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) on Tuesday, gathered from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The figures also set most the number of Filipinos dying in a year since after World War 2 in 1939 to 1945, according to PopCom.

Ischemic heart disease was responsible for 110,332 deaths until October 2021, up from 86,164 the previous year.

Covid-19 was another underlying cause of death for 75,285 Filipinos, higher than the 30,140 deaths from the same cause from March to December 2020.

PopCom chief, Dr. Juan A. Perez III, said the increasing number indicates a health system severely challenged by the pandemic.

“Diseases with higher mortalities are also those causing the highest incidences of illnesses in the entire population, since respiratory diseases, hypertension, and diabetes contribute to heavy caseloads of clinics and health centers nationwide. If consultations for these are delayed, exacerbations and complications happen,” he said in a statement.

He said diagnosis of all forms of cancers may also be delayed or remain undiagnosed, leading to deaths attributed to other causes.

There was a 25 percent increase in mortality, with still a month-and-a-half worth of data still unaccounted for in 2021.

Also up were deaths caused by cerebrovascular disease (from 53,082 to 58,880), hypertension (from 26,079 to 32,614), and diabetes mellitus (from 32,830 to 38,584).

Highest in 60+ years

Perez estimated that the 2021 number of deaths already indicate the highest annual death statistic in the Philippines’ recorded medical history.

“In 2019 and 2020, the mortality rate was about the same at 5.8 per 1,000 Filipinos. By the end of 2021, I believe it reached 7.5 or 8 per 1,000, not the highest mortality rate ever in the country, but certainly the highest number of Filipinos dying in a single year,” he said.

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, a total of 54,054 have died of coronavirus-related complications as of Tuesday.

The last time the Philippines experienced the same level of mortality rates were in 1958 to 1959, where it reached between 7.3 and 8.4, but at that time only 218,816 died, according to the Philippine Health Statistics. (PNA)