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The milestone of 150.000 deaths due to Covid-19 crossed in Europe

(B2) The number of deaths due to the coronavirus or Covid-19 epidemic since the start of the crisis is close to the 150.000 mark (146.700) according to the latest delivery of statistics from the European Agency for the Surveillance of Diseases. Stockholm (ECDC)

Rue Neuve, Brussels, May 11 when stores reopen (credit: European Commission)

Higher excess mortality in Belgium

At the top of the table, Belgium remains the country where the mortality rate is the highest 75,1 per 100.000 inhabitants (dark red in our pinboard). NB: The explanations given to justify this position (better statistics, urbanized area, numerous international exchanges...) seem questionable (to be nice...).

Four countries are also very affected: Spain (56,7), Italy (50,3) and the United Kingdom (47,5) follow, with France a little further (39,3). These four countries, all very populous, provide more than three-quarters of the total deaths.

The Netherlands, mixed results

Countries reputed to be more liberal in their containment policy (Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland) have a sustained mortality rate. But the ratio is halved compared to the countries at the top of the table: around 30 per 100.000 inhabitants. The case of the Netherlands is interesting: The Hague has a mortality rate halved compared to its Belgian neighbour, but three to four times higher than its two other immediate neighbors (Germany and Denmark).

Sweden, a bad student

The case of Sweden, often cited as an example for having managed the epidemic well, is in fact much more problematic than it seems. This country is in fact rather a very bad student, posting a mortality rate three to seven times higher than its immediate neighbors (Norway, Finland, Denmark), which are placed in a similar situation of population density and geographical exposure. .

Four exceptional countries

Interesting point: Countries very close to the red axis of the epidemic (Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark, Germany) only show a rate around 10%. This difference alone deserves a more important investigation than that which has been made so far.

Germany's policy of systematic testing and early care seems to be one of the most plausible explanations. The Luxembourg case is also very specific. With very open borders, in particular in the north-eastern area of ​​France, which was an epicenter of the crisis, it appears to be much less impacted.

Eastern Europe least affected

The countries located most in the East of Europe, from north to south, from Finland to Greece, via the Czech Republic or Romania, remain little affected by the epidemic with a mortality rate between 1 and 5 per 100.000. Either a rate more or less similar to that of a major seasonal flu.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Download the statistics of ECDC and our pinboard countries sorted in the order of most to least important deaths

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).