The state may have its highest ever all-cause deaths in 2021 with the first half of the year already recording a massive increase than previous years.
With the second wave of Covid being the significant contributor to rising deaths, one does not need to look further to find the cause.
The numbers have been impacted by the Supreme Court directive that forced the state to reframe guidelines for determining Covid deaths and do a reconciliation exercise to include all Covid deaths that were previously omitted.
According to data from the state’s chief registrar of births and deaths, the state saw 1,55,520 deaths in total in the first half of 2021, which is 35 per cent more than the number in the first half of 2020. In the previous year, Kerala had recorded 1,15,081 deaths. Meanwhile, in 2019, 1,28,667 deaths were reported in the same period.
The data also shows a rapid increase in total deaths in the months May and June of 2021 compared to other years. These two months also witnessed a sharp rise in Covid deaths. June 2021 saw the highest death in recorded history for the state with 32,501 all-cause deaths including 4,420 Covid deaths.
The numbers in June 2020 and 2019 were 20,640 and 20,642 respectively. In May this year, the state reported 28,684 total deaths while the number of Covid deaths was 3,504. In both these months, the Covid deaths had almost hit the 200 mark on a daily basis. The state recorded a total of 7,927 Covid deaths during the period as per available data.
It does not include the deaths that were omitted for various reasons and are now being added through appeals as part of the reconciliation exercise.
The state has so far ( December 8) reported 41,831 Covid deaths of which 12,161 were added through appeals.
The statistics also show a pattern of lockdown impact for the months of March and April. In March 2020, the deaths were 16,176 and it rose to 24,632 in March 2021. While the number of deaths in April 2020 was 13,338, it increased to 21,231 in 2021.
The available data further shows that in the initial year of the pandemic, Kerala had actually seen a decrease in all-cause deaths with the numbers going down to 2,53,638 from 2,70,567 in 2019.
All the information available points towards a possible record surge during the year-end. The fact that the state reports more deaths in the latter half every year adds weight to this estimate.