Rosstat: statistics on deaths from coronavirus diverge due to different counting systems

Rosstat: statistics on deaths from coronavirus diverge due to different counting systems

23 June , 23:58SocietyPhoto:
The head of the Federal State Statistics Service Pavel Malkov told why the data from the agency and the operational headquarters on mortality from coronavirus in April differ - the reason is the difference in the methodology.

Rosstat data on mortality from coronavirus in April at odds with the government’s opertab 1.4 times. Pavel Malkov in an interview with RBC explained that the government headquarters more relevant data on morbidity and mortality, which are entered into the system manually. At the same time, Rosstat, said Malkov, receives data from the Unified State Register of Civil Registry Offices, from where it receives primary medical death certificates. He later directly receives the final death certificates as they appear.

Malkov noted that before the pandemic, imperfections in the data collection system were not noticeable, and the epidemic helped to identify them. In particular, at the time of recording the death of a patient with coronavirus, there may not yet be an official medical report. It takes up to 45 days to prepare it.

According to the publication of the Federal State Statistics Service, the total number of registered deaths with COVID-19 in April was 2712 people. In 1660 cases, coronavirus caused death. In 1053 testimonies he was listed as “other important condition”. Malkov explains that even cases where the coronavirus was detected, but in fact the patient died not because of him, were included in the statistics.

Among the factors influencing the discrepancy of data, the head of the Federal State Statistics Service cited the fact that in some constituent entities of the Russian Federation there is no legislative consolidation of the obligation to register death in the registry office for subsequent burial. The requirement is established in the largest regions. Incomplete entries in the registry offices are characteristic of the regions of the North Caucasus, the Southern Federal District, the Volga region and the Far East.

Boris Denisov, senior researcher at the Laboratory for Population and Demography at the Moscow State University's Department of Economics, noted that it would be possible to speak about accurate statistics not earlier than when the pandemic would end.

“It will be clear when the epidemic is over, when everything is normal.” But then it will be necessary to separate mortality from coronavirus and mortality from coronavirus. For example, the person was not helped because the hospital was busy. Mortality is a fraction: in the numerator is the number of deaths, and in the denominator is the number at risk, that is, those who are sick. I think that our focus is on the numerator, and the denominator is moving away. We just have a big denominator, a large number of identified cases of coronavirus, because we just have a huge number of tests. It is necessary to wait for the end of the outbreak when mortality returns to normal. Then it will be seen how many people die in a month, how many die in excess of the norm”, - the expert said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

Let us recall that the rather low statistics of mortality from coronavirus in Russia raised questions from foreign experts. For example, the head of the WHO program, Michael Ryan, called Russian statistics “difficult to understand”. WHO, however, has officially stated that the organization has no claims against the Russian Federation on death statistics from COVID-19.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that Russia does not manipulate data on coronavirus, and the low mortality rate is due to high detectability.

A spokesman of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov suggested “to think about the fact that Russia has a more efficient healthcare system”, which makes it possible “so that more people survive”.

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