An analysis of mortality data from the State Statistics Committee shows that apart from official death toll, the pandemic has also led to a large number of ‘excess’ deaths.
The data suggests that, even after accounting for official COVID-19 deaths and conflict related fatalities, there was a large number of ‘unexplained’ deaths. This is especially true for December 2020. There were nearly 10,000 ‘excess’ deaths (14,500 in 2020 as opposed to 4,849 between 2015-2019).
One potential explanation is that deaths from other causes have risen too, as hospitals have become overwhelmed and people have been scared to seek care for ailments that are typically survivable. This is a likely reason, since many countries have experienced rising death numbers, in excess of COVID-19 mortalities.
However, the scale is very large for Azerbaijan, suggesting that under-reporting of COVID-19-related deaths is a contributing factor.
Caveat: not all COVID-19 deaths are recorded accurately, and monthly data may come with delay or major revisions.
 ‘Excess deaths’ is defined as a gap between the observed and ‘normal’ numbers of deaths. ‘Normal’ number of deaths in this paper is the average of 2015-2019.