TEMPORAL TRENDS AND PATTERNS IN COVID-19 MORTALITY IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
Introduction: The Republic of Moldova Ministry of Health releases individual death records of COVID-19 patients on a daily basis since March 18, 2020. It is important to understand the quality of this data and to compare them to medical death certificate data available for 2020 where COVID-19 infection was indicated as an underlying cause of death. Aim: To analyse the temporal trends and age and sex pattern of mortality from COVID-19 infection and to assess the impact of the pandemic on the overall mortality in Moldova. Materials and methods: individual death records published by the Ministry of Health between March 18, 2020 and October, 10 2021 and medical death certificates for 2017-2020. Demographic methods of mortality analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Results: In Moldova, mortality from COVID-19 infection is limited to laboratory-confirmed cases, which does not meet the WHO recommended definition. The weekly dynamics of COVID-19-related deaths published by the Ministry of Health are mainly consistent with the death certificate data for 2020. Three waves of mortality were identified with their peaks in the middle of December 2020, March 2021 and October 2021. Excess mortality among the elderly in late 2020 (wave 1) is attributed in part to cardiovascular disease. The male-to-female ratio for mortality from COVID-19 infection is higher in older age and much less so in middle age. The COVID-19 pandemic has had quite a sizable effect on mortality trends and cause-of-death patterns in 2020.
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