On April 24, the regular seminar of the Modern Demography series was held. At the seminar, David A. Leon (Chief Research Fellow at the HSE University; Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Adjunct Professor at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway) presented the report "Challenges in interpreting the mortality impact of COVID-19".
The coronavirus pandemic has spread to almost all countries of the world and by early April 2020 the number of confirmed cases of the disease has exceeded a million milestone. In terms of the impact on the political and economic situation in the world and on people's minds, what is happening has no analogs over the past decades. However, can we reliably quantify this phenomenon? Oddly enough, despite the presence of a huge amount of easily accessible data on the Internet, the quantitative characteristics of the pandemic remain problematic even in economically developed countries. The presentation examined the key points regarding the quality and comparability of COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as some additional options for objectively measuring the impact of the epidemic on mortality.