COVID-19 deaths during pandemic were higher over weekends compared to weekdays, global survey shows | World news
COVID-19 deaths during pandemic were higher over weekends compared to weekdays, global survey shows |  World news

COVID-19 deaths during pandemic were higher over weekends compared to weekdays, global survey shows | World news

COVID deaths during the pandemic have been higher over the weekend compared to weekdays, a global study has found.

Experts from the University of Toronto in Canada analyzed all deaths reported to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 database between March 7, 2020 and March 7, 2022.

The researchers said the average number of global coronavirus deaths was 6% higher over the weekend compared to weekdays – 8,532 compared to 8,083 – during the whole pandemic.

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The results, which will be presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) event in Portugal later this month, suggest that the UK had an average of 239 weekend deaths compared to 215 on weekdays, an increase of 11% .

The United States had an average of 1,483 weekend deaths compared to 1,220 on weekdays, an increase of 22%, and Brazil had an average of 1,061 weekend deaths compared to 823 on weekdays, an increase of 29%.

Further analysis, which looked at the average number of COVID deaths on individual days of the week, found that the increase was particularly large when comparing Sunday to Monday – 8,850 compared to 7,219 deaths – and Friday to Monday – 9,086 compared to 7,219.

‘This problem does not get better despite awareness’

One of the researchers, Dr. Fizza Manzoor, said that delays in reporting deaths over the weekend do not fully account for differences in different countries, with Germany reporting fewer average deaths over the weekend (137) compared to weekdays (187).

Dr. Manzoor said: “Bureaucratic delays on weekends alone do not explain why there are fewer documented COVID-19 deaths on Mondays compared to Fridays, and reporting delays alone cannot explain why the increase in weekend deaths was so significant in the US and not seen in USA Germany.

“Instead, the ‘weekend effect’ is also likely to be due to a lack of clinical staff, capacity and experience. In addition, our results suggest that this problem will not be addressed despite improved healthcare system performance and awareness during the pandemic.

“There is an opportunity for healthcare systems to further improve clinical care on all days of the week.”

The researchers added that the accepted conclusions of the study, which have been peer-reviewed, may be limited by false negative results, unanswered cases and data entry errors, and that the available data do not take into account the severity of the disease or explore the impact of local policies and public health interventions. in the individual countries.

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