France experienced a record high death toll in November, in particular due to the second wave of Covid-19. But the latest demographic data published on Friday by the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) show an improvement in the situation. Indeed, if the number of deaths remains higher than last year, the excess mortality is down in the second half of December.
From December 16 to 28, 1,890 deaths – all causes combined – were recorded on average every day in France, indicates INSEE in its weekly update on deaths during the Covid-19 crisis. This is 5% more than the same period of 2019 but much less than the previous days. This excess mortality, calculated in 2020 compared to 2019, reached 19% during the first half of December.
The second wave more deadly than the first
Since the peak of November 7, “the number of deaths is gradually decreasing, but more slowly than during the first wave” of spring, summarizes INSEE.
The second wave – measured over almost four months, between September 1 and December 28 – seems to have been deadlier than the first, which was recorded over only two months, in March and April: 31,100 additional deaths were counted in end of the year, compared to the same period of 2019, against 27,300 additional deaths in March-April.
This trend is consistent with the quantified assessment of the epidemic, communicated by Public Health France. According to health authorities, 24,376 people were swept away by Covid-19 during the “first wave”, until April 30, then 6,259 from May to August, and 33,997 from September 1 to December 31.