The unprecedented events of 2020 has raised questions about their impact on the health of the Australian population. In January many regions in Australia were in the midst of a severe bushfire season. At this time there was also growing concern globally about COVID-19, a respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. By 11 March the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The emergence of COVID-19 and its potential direct and indirect health effects made tracking of mortality more important than ever. Civil registration based mortality data provided important insights into deaths from COVID-19 and deaths from other causes, highlighting the broader impacts of the pandemic and related measures on population health and health service delivery.
The ABS has published provisional mortality counts for doctor-certified deaths during the pandemic period. These data provide an early indicator of changes in patterns of mortality, but do not include information on deaths that were coroner referred including accidents, assaults and suicides.
This report provides snapshots for selected causes of death for 2020 for both doctor and coroner certified deaths. Further information on causes of death in 2020 can be found in accompanying articles and the datacubes available from the data downloads section of this publication.