The COVID-19 kills most cancers

La COVID-19 tue plus que les cancers

The COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in Quebec, besting the weekly average of deaths from cancer in the territory.

The Journal was drawn up at the beginning of the month of may, the balance of the various causes of mortality in Quebec over five years, between 2012 and 2016, according to data from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ).

Before appears the coronavirus, approximately 1200 people died on average each week in Quebec.

One-third of these deaths is attributable to cancer, which were so far the first cause of mortality in Québec.

The COVID-19 has now taken over. A little over two months after the first death that occurred in Quebec – now formalized on the 17th march and not 18th march – the coronavirus mowing an average of 403 lives per week.

It has become nearly three times more deadly than heart disease and 10 times more than the influenza and lung disease combined.

Predictable, but one-time

For Alan Cohen, professor at the Faculty of medicine of the University of Sherbrooke, this scenario was predictable.

“I’m not surprised at all,” says the expert, who clarifies, however, that the situation is ” ad hoc “.

“Over the long term, one year, two years, ten years, and it might not be the case,” he continued.

Same warning on the side of Martin Champagne, president of the medical Association of hematologists and oncologists of Quebec, who recalls that the cancer carries annually some 21 000 souls, while the COVID is 3,800 deaths to date.

Excess mortality

The coronavirus contributes all the same undeniably an excess mortality, according to data released Thursday by the ISQ.

Between 15 march and 25 April last, 9745 people have lost their lives.

It is 1815 individuals more than for the same period in the prior year. The situation particularly affects people of 70 years and more.

The trend has also been observed elsewhere in the world, notes Dr. Champagne, which specifies that the excess will need to be assessed over several months.

“With time, it may diminish “, he says, recalling that it is difficult to determine what proportion of these older people would, of course, died a little later.

“In NURSING homes, the rate of death in the first year, it is 42 %, for an example there.

What next ?

The coronavirus could it now trôner the top causes of mortality during several months, or even years ?

The scenario is unlikely, according to Alan Cohen, but cannot be completely ruled out.

The following things will depend on the presence or not of a vaccine, the mutation of the virus – which may become more or less virulent – and herd immunity, possibly developed over the course of the pandemic.

“We are going to have an evolution of the virus. In what sense ? It is very difficult to predict, and before you see it, it can take years, ” he concludes.

Average number of deaths per week

  • COVID-19 : 403
  • Cancers : 399,6
  • Heart disease : 138
  • Dementia organic : 62,9
  • Bronchitis, emphysema, asthma : 59
  • Cerebrovascular disease (STROKE) : 55,4
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries) : 45,9
  • Alzheimer’s : 45,7
  • Influenza and pneumonia : 36,9
  • Suicide : 21,9

Note : For the COVID-19, the figure was calculated between the 17 march and 21 may, inclusive. The other data come from the balance sheets of mortality drawn up between 2012 and 2016 by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.


(between 15 march and 25 April)

  • 2020 : 9745 death
  • 2019 : 7930 death


(between 15 march and 25 April)

  • 2020 : 7640 death
  • 2019 : 6075 death

Source : Institut de la statistique du Québec

The balance of the day

  • Case in the world : 5 097 944
  • Death in the world : 332 425
  • In Canada : 81 324
  • Case in Québec : 45 495 (+720 compared to Wednesday)
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