Average Age of Deceased Patients Who Are COVID-19 Positive Is 79-80

The COVID-19 epidemic is having an effect on total mortality in the Czech Republic. The average age of deceased patients that tested positive for this disease is 79-80. A substantial number of the deceased also had a number of other diseases, which complicated the course of the disease. This can be seen from data that the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Health Information and Statistics presented at an expert workshop dealing with the assessment of mortality in connection with COVID-19.

Based on the aforementioned data, it can be predicted that the number of patients that died and tested positive for COVID-19 could be between 9,000 and 10,000 in 2020. The age of patients that died of this disease is between 79-80. 

A relatively large number of COVID-positive patients (64%) that died in the first half of 2020 reported a number of comorbidities that complicated the course of the disease. The basic causes of death are therefore hard to assess. These records will be subjected to further analysis by a clinical expert team and a check on medical documentation will be performed. The most frequent comorbidities for this group include ischemic heart disease (39%), diabetes (26%), chronic cardiovascular disease (20%) and tumours (18%). 

“Despite the fact that COVID-19 is the main reason for increased mortality in the Czech Republic, October’s data also show an increase in mortality for reasons other than COVID-19.What is key at the moment is to restart, as rapidly as possible, standard hospital healthcare,” said Minister of Health Jan Blatný.

In this context the Ministry of Health has issued an extraordinary measure rescinding the previous measure to halt elective care and setting out new rules for the acceptance of patients for elective procedures. The aim is to renew standard hospital healthcare. This measure was approved on Monday by the Government of the Czech Republic.

The data presented show that at the end of their life patients were provided with adequate care and the availability of healthcare services was not disrupted. Hospitals were not overloaded and the number of deaths outside the system of health and social services is not rising. 

“All these data should be published and shared, but the final evaluation of overall mortality in the calendar year must be performed at a distance and when differentiating the causes of death,” said Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek.

“Autopsy reports and medical documentation of the deceased with multiple serious diseases must be analysed in detail – a team of clinical experts will be appointed for this purpose,” added the IHIS director concerning the reasons the final evaluation of data will be possible after some time.

The publication of statistics about cause of death has a time delay also because certificates on examination of a deceased person have to be gathered, the causes of death have to be coded and verified in accordance with valid international rules. There is also frequently a need for back verification in comparison with a deceased person’s medical record. These processes are demanding in terms of time, so causes of death are published later and it is not possible to exactly determine the causes of death in real time. Most countries issue national statistics about deceased persons typically once a year. 

“Here I would like to emphasize that COVID-19 certainly isn’t a light disease.It’s a very unpredictable virus that can have a negative impact on each of us.It is therefore very important for all of us to deal with it in the most effective manner.Therefore, let’s comply with valid anti-epidemic measures.Let’s also comply with 3W rules – wash and disinfect hands, wait at least 2 metres apart and wear masks.Only then can we protect ourselves and at-risk groups of the population from the COVID-19 virus,” added Minister of Health Jan Blatný.