French Polynesia experienced in August 2021 a number of deaths, all causes combined, 4.5 times higher than the monthly average between 2015 and 2019, according to provisional figures from the Institute of Statistics in French Polynesia ( ISPF) to be published Tuesday, September 14 and consulted by AFP.
The Delta variant spread rapidly from the end of July, in a poorly vaccinated Polynesian population, after six months of poor circulation of the virus. The Statistics Institute lists 590 deaths between August 1 and August 31. Since 1983, the number of monthly deaths had never exceeded 179 in this overseas collectivity populated by 280,000 inhabitants.
Over the period from August 1 to August 31, “gross excess mortality is 346% all ages combined”. The people most affected by this excess mortality were aged 60 to 74 (+ 413%) and over 75 (+ 412%). The increase in deaths is clear among 40-59 year olds (+ 277%) but is not “not observed” in people under 40 years of age.
The increase in mortality is linked to the epidemic, but also to its indirect effects: the management of other pathologies is less effective due to the saturation of healthcare services. This excess mortality could be even more important, the ISPF specifies that these figures are provisional and that all the data have not yet been processed. The local Health Department listed 551 deaths linked to Covid in Polynesia on Friday since the start of the epidemic, but it does not take into account deaths occurring at home.