There are many reports of increased resident deaths in recent weeks as coronavirus cases are on the rise. This might tell us that there have been more deaths than reported, the US has tested 614,246 positive coronavirus cases till date with 26,064 deaths.
Detroit authorities reported finding four times more number of resident dead bodies than usual. New York City reported 200 home deaths per day, making it a six-fold increase than usual. Outside Boston, more have died at home more often than normal situations, reported ProPublica.
In the background of high death rates, the official COVID-19 death toll may have been missing the huge number of deaths at home and those happening outside hospitals. There seems to be a hidden death toll outside what is the official number.
The experts opine that those infected with the novel coronavirus may not have got treatments and might have succumbed to death in their residences, especially the elderly, as it happened in Spain. One more case would be that increase of deaths in residence reflecting those dying from other ailments such as heart attacks due to coronavirus infection fears and by not going to hospitals
Compared to the average deaths of 35 per day between 2013 and 2017, there were almost 200 deaths per day outside hospitals, according to New York City records.
Tip of the Iceberg
Mortality statistics expert Mark Hayward, who is a sociology professor in the University of Texas-Austin, said that deaths were a part of the "overall burden of the pandemic," and told that undercount of coronavirus deaths are happening. He called the official figure as the tip of the iceberg. He called for more tests to happen so that fewer people die due to non-testing.
ProPublica's review observed similar trends in Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington State. During March, there were 317 deaths in home in Middlesex of Massachusetts, marking a 20 percent increase compared to last three years of the same period.
Detroit data showed that in place 40 in-home deaths in the past three years, now saw 150 deaths, in only the first 10 days of April. These deaths happened in areas of median household income (less than $45,000), showing that poor areas were affected more.
Seattle showed paramedic calls for medical assistance dropped by more than 25 percent, in the first 10 days of April compared to last year, showing that people may have fears to go to hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hayward said that the US don't have enough tests and this shortage is acute in rural areas especially. At the start of the pandemic, "the undercount is going to be really high," he added.