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Study of 2021 Excess Deaths by Major Metropolitan Manila Cities. Case Study 1: Pasig City
Patterns of excess deaths in 2021 show two very specific high peaks. These patterns do not appear to be natural. Further investigation of death patterns and causes of death would be warranted.
Pasig City, also known as Pasig is a first class, highly urbanized municipality in Metro Manila. In the 2020 census, it had a population of 803,159 people. It covers a land area of 34.32 sq. km, and has 2 legislative districts and 30 barangays.
Pasig City Historical All-Cause Annual Mortality
Historical 7-year all cause mortality in Pasig City is set out in the following table. Please note that the 2021 all cause mortality is still preliminary and will increase in the final presentation. From 2015 to 2019, the change in annual deaths varied from -0.4% to + 6%. In 2020 there was increase in deaths of 12.4% representing 538 extra deaths compared to 2019. In 2021 there were 1,308 extra deaths compared to 2019.
Pasig City Monthly Patterns of Mortality
The monthly pattern of deaths in Pasig City from 2015 to 2021 is set out. A spike in deaths is noted from July to October of 2020, likely attributed to the pandemic/ pandemic measures and lockdowns. For 2021, two big and unprecedented spikes in deaths are apparent from March to May, and then from August to October. The November and December data is likely still substantially incomplete. The sharpness of the death spikes in 2021, followed by June and July with flat and relatively lower deaths, makes it highly unlikely that these have a natural cause. The first spike is concurrent with vaccine rollout to health care workers and senior citizens. The second is concurrent with general population rollout.
Pasig City Covid-19 Deaths
There have been 1,060 deaths recorded by DOH as being due to Covid-19 in Pasig up to 2nd July 2022. This includes 396 deaths in 2020, 589 deaths in 2021, and 75 deaths in 2022. The most recent deaths in 2022 were 5 cases in April.
The 538 additional deaths in 2020 exceed the 396 deaths attributed to covid-19. The 1,308 additional deaths in 2021 compared to 2019 are more than double the 589 attributed to covid-19.
Further, as most deaths with covid-19 are known to occur in people with multiple serious comorbidities who already had a limited life expectancy, the majority of the 589 deaths with covid-19 may be part of the expected normal deaths. Thus, the cause of the 1,308 deaths in 2021 require explanation.
Recommendations for Further Investigation
Investigations should be conducted to determine if there is any relationship between vaccine rollouts and the concurrent excess and spikes of deaths seen in 2021.
The volume of vaccines delivered and the timeframe of the mass vaccine rollouts in March to April, and then in August and September relative to the peaks in excess deaths seen in those same months.
Assessment of the vaccination status, and timeframe of all deaths attributed to covid-19 in 2021 from March through to December.
Assessment of the vaccine status of all deaths in 2021 from March through to December 2021, to explore if there is any plausible temporality between receipt of covid-19 vaccination and death.
Completion of compilation of vital statistics / death data for the last quarter of 2021.
If no relationship between the vaccination rollouts and excess deaths can be confirmed, effort should be made to conclusively determine the actual causes of these excess deaths, unprecedented in peacetime. This will ensure that such catastrophic and untimely loss of human life will never be allowed to happen again.