By Kit Knightly
A few weeks ago we reported that, according to the Italian Institute of Health (ISS), only 12% of Italy’s reported Covid19 deaths actually listed Covid19 as the cause of death.
Given that 99% of them had at least one serious co-morbidity (and that 80% of them had two such diseases) this raised serious questions as to the reliability of Italy’s reported statistics.
Prof Walter Ricciardi, advisor to Italy’s health minister, explained this was caused by the “generous” way the Italian government handles death certificates:
The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.
Essentially, Italy’s death registration process does not differentiate between those who simply have the virus in their body, and those who are actually killed by it.
Given the amount of fear and panic Italy’s comparatively alarming numbers caused around the world, you would think other nations would be eager to avoid these same mistakes.
Surely all the other countries of the world are employing rigorous standards for delineating who has, and has not, fallen victim to the pandemic, right?
In fact, rather than learning from Italy’s example, other countries are not only repeating these mistakes but going even further.
In Germany, for example, though overall deaths and case-fatality ratio are far lower than Italy’s, their public health agency is still engaging in similar practice.
On March 20th the President of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute confirmed that Germany counts any deceased person who was infected with coronavirus as a Covid19 death, whether or not it actually caused death.
In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that was without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics.
How many “Covid19 deaths” in Germany, fall into this bracket? We don’t know, and will likely never know.
But at least Germany is actually limiting itself to test positive cases.
Categories: Health and Medicine