Portugal reports highest excess mortality rate in EU

LISBON, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Portugal recorded an excess mortality rate of 23.9 percent in June, almost four times the European Union's (EU) average of 6.2 percent, also the highest in the EU, the EU's statistics office Eurostat reported on Wednesday.

Excess mortality is the percentage of additional deaths compared to the monthly average of deaths between 2016 and 2019, the period before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portugal has registered a progressive increase in excess mortality since January 2021, a trend contrary to the situation in other EU countries.

The Portuguese Ministry of Health said last week it was preparing an in-depth study on the "most recent excesses of mortality" in the country that coincided with the pandemic and the extreme heat of this summer.

Local media reported earlier that 659 people in Portugal died of heat-related illnesses in the week from July 10 to 16.

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