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Posted by portugalpress on June 11, 2018

With scorching summer temperatures said to be on the way this week, much of the country is still today experiencing drizzle and grey with the news that Portugal’s endless winter has seen a 6% rise in the number of deaths.

In numbers, this translates into 3130 added deaths over numbers registered during the same five-month period (from January 1 to June 9) last year.

Says the country’s best read tabloid, there are instant answers for the increase.

Respiratory issues and the lengthening of weeks in which elderly and health-compromised people caught the flu, coupled with the fact that this is a country with more elderly people than it has ever had before.

According to data published by SICO (the system monitoring death certificates) this is the third consecutive year in which authorities have registered the “highest number of deaths in the first five months of the year”.

In other words, every year a few more nationals have been dying than the year before.

Last year it was 51,472 people between January and June, this year it is 54,873.

Health director general Graça Freitas has explained that in theory death-rates now should decrease. But if the summer brings prolonged heat waves “unfortunately, more people will die” than otherwise might have.

“Last year we were a bit spared because in spite of days being very hot, the heat never lasted more than two or three days at a time, which allowed people’s bodies to cope”, she said, adding that most of the deaths recorded this winter were in people of 75 or over - and the majority were in people aged over 85.

Freitas agreed that with an increasing number of old people in Portugal, the tendency will be for death rates to continue rising.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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