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Information Note - Impact of COVID-19 on Vital Statistics Quarter 1 2020

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The Quarter 1 2020 Release includes all births, deaths and marriages registered in the period from the 01 January 2020 to the 31 March 2020 inclusive.  All births, deaths and marriages that occur in the State must be registered within three months from the date on which the vital event occurred.   There were 8,674 deaths registered during this period and of these, there were no deaths registered that were assigned an Underlying Cause of Death (UCOD) of COVID-19.  The first death registered that was due to COVID-19 was in week 14 (i.e. Quarter 2 2020).  It should be noted that all deaths due to COVID-19 are reportable to the Coroner’s Office.  All deaths registered in Quarter 1 2020 have been included in the statistics and some cases have been assigned a provisional cause of death pending the outcome of further enquiries (e.g. awaiting the return of completed Form 104 from An Garda Síochána in respect of an unnatural death).

UCOD is classified according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD-10).  The WHO outlined the criteria for the classification of deaths from COVID-19.

For further clarification, please also see Information Note on the Implications of COVID-19 on the processing of Death Certificates.

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) responded by putting arrangements in place for the electronic registration of births. Up until this, parents/qualified informants had to attend the Registration Office to register the birth.  The time-lag between the COVID-19 restrictions and the introduction of this on-line registration facility may have impacted on the number of births registered in Quarter 1 2020.  If so, these birth registrations will be included in Quarter 2 2020.