Governments considering reopening economies frozen by restrictions to limit the spread of the new coronavirus are struggling to determine how deadly it is. With tests for the virus still in short supply, many analysts are looking to the blunter measure of total deaths.

By comparing mortality statistics for this year with those from the same period in past years, a rough measure of the pandemic’s impact emerges. In parts of the U.S. and Europe that have been hit hard, weekly fatalities from all causes are up by more than 25%,…

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