Could be nearly double official figures
The death toll from the coronavirus in the United Kingdom could be nearly double what official figures say and as high as 45,000, a statistician has warned.
Jamie Jenkins, who formerly worked at the country’s Office of National Statistics (ONS, said the number reflected the difference between the number of people who have died since the outbreak began in Britain and the average number of deaths during the same period over the last five years.
The official government figures show that 27,510 people in Britain are known to have died from COVID-19 on Saturday, a rise of 739 from the previous day.
But the former head health analyst at the ONS said figures from the UK’s stats authority suggests around 90 per cent of these “excess deaths” may be related to COVID-19, as reported by The Sun.
According to his figures, around 42,000 people in England and Wales and 3,000 in Scotland could have died in ways associated with the coronavirus between the start of the pandemic and April 29.
Explaining the figures on his Twitter page, he said his analysis included other factors including a lower number of road deaths due to the reduced traffic while the country was in lockdown.
He said the difference in the death figures could be explained by deaths in care homes and in the community.
At first the government only announced coronavirus deaths of people who had died in hospital but on Wednesday it added another 4,000 deaths in care homes and the wider community.
“Previously the figures included those who died in hospital who had a mention of COVID-19 on their death certificate,” Mr Jenkins said.
“But if people were not being tested in care homes for example, and doctors were reluctant at first to mention it if they didn’t know, those will not be marked in the figures.
“Now the government is testing in care homes, the figures are likely to come more in line with the excess death figures.”
According to Mr Jenkins’ analysis of the figures there were, on average, 12,741 deaths in the first week of the year over the previous five years.
But this year figures were down to around 11,900, which Mr Jenkins attributes to a weaker strain of seasonal flu.
The trend, he said, continued until the 12th week of the year, when the COVID-19 outbreak began and the weekly deaths then overtook the average.
The figures for 2020 then continued upwards until the last three weeks, when the weekly deaths was around 20,000 people – around double the five year average.
“We had a very bad flu season in 2015 and 2018 in the UK,” he said.
“Going into 2020 it seems, on average, the mortality rate was much lower for flu than the five-year average.
“There was around 14,000 fewer deaths this year compared to the five-year average prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Many of those 14,000 who survived the weaker flu were probably people who would have bee susceptible to COVID-19.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission