Cyprus recorded the highest excess mortality among EU member states this February while the union as a whole recorded no monthly excess mortality for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, figures showed on Tuesday.
Two out of three member states recorded no additional deaths in February, meaning the mortality rate fell below the average number of deaths in the same period 2016-2019, Eurostat data showed.
According to the EU’s statistical office, excess mortality refers to the number of deaths from all causes measured during a crisis that takes the figure above the average.
Among the countries that recorded positive abnormal death rates, the highest were recorded in Cyprus. The rate in the island was 12.5 per cent above the average over the reference period.
Following Cyprus was Greece with 12.3 per cent, Portugal, which recorded a 5.8 per cent increase, the Netherlands with 4 per cent and Spain with 3.9 per cent. Malta also recorded 1.7 per cent excess mortality as well as Italy with 0.8 per cent and Ireland and Austria with 0.7 and 0.6 per cent respectively.
As Eurostat points out for comparison purposes, the rate of excess mortality was at 8 per cent in February 2022 (39,000 deaths), 6 per cent in February 2021 (26,000) and almost -3 per cent in February 2020.