Estimating excess mortalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia between January 2020 and September 2021

Jayaraj, Vivek Jason and Chong, Diane Woei-Quan and Wan, Kim-Sui and Hairi, Noran Naqiah and Bhoo-Pathy, Nirmala and Rampal, Sanjay and Ng, Chiu-Wan (2023) Estimating excess mortalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia between January 2020 and September 2021. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). ISSN 2045-2322, DOI

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Excess mortalities are a more accurate indicator of true COVID-19 disease burden. This study aims to investigate levels of excess all-cause mortality and their geographic, age and sex distributions between January 2020-September 2021. National mortality data between January 2016 and September 2021 from the Department of Statistics Malaysia was utilised. Baseline mortality was estimated using the Farrington algorithm and data between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2019. The occurrence of excess all-cause mortality by geographic-, age- and sex-stratum was examined from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2021. A sub-analysis was also conducted for road-traffic accidents, ethnicity and nationality. Malaysia had a 5.5-23.7% reduction in all-cause mortality across 2020. A reversal is observed in 2021, with an excess of 13.0-24.0%. Excess mortality density is highest between July and September 2021. All states and sexes reported excess trends consistent with the national trends. There were reductions in all all-cause mortalities in individuals under the age of 15 (0.4-8.1%) and road traffic accident-related mortalities (36.6-80.5%). These reductions were higher during the first Movement Control Order in 2020. Overall, there appears to be a reduction in all-cause mortality for Malaysia in 2020. This trend is reversed in 2021, with excess mortalities being observed. Surveillance of excess mortalities can allow expedient detection of aberrant events allowing timely health system and public health responses.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), Malaysia, UM.0000245/HGA.GV
Uncontrolled Keywords: Surveillance; Algorithm; Outbreak
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Social & Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2023 02:41
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2023 04:14

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