Covid-19 Update

Unless there is some dramatic change in the next few weeks, this will be the last of my weekly updates for now.

The solid blue line shows the weekly number of deaths in England and Wales over the period of the pandemic. The solid grey line shows the average over the last five years.

Taking the UK as a whole, the total excess for this year over the average is about 62,000, roughly 0.1% of the population. The number of reported covid-19 deaths at that point was 36,675. The total death count is still nearly 70% higher than being reported.

In my humble opinion, we urgently need to know why the reported covid-19 deaths and the total excess deaths are so vastly different. Obviously there could be numerous reasons for this, such as people avoiding necessary A&E visits, lack of sufficient ICU beds, virus deaths being misdiagnosed as old age. Whatever the reason, we need to know so that a similar situation can be mitigated against if we fall victim to a second wave after restrictions are lifted.

The dotted grey lines show the max and min weekly deaths over the last five years.
The dotted blue line is the excess deaths.

I’ve also included one last look at a comparison of the UK (green) vs. Sweden’s (grey) daily death counts. They’re suprisingly similar given the enormous differences in approach taken by the UK and Swedish authorities.

Of course, there are far too many variables to directly compare the UK and Swedish experiences. A comparison between Sweden and other Nordic countries is probably more appropriate. I’m sure there are research groups studying these figures carefully. It will be interesting to see what conclusions, if any, they eventually reach.

South Korea (lower grey line) is included for comparison.

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 Update

  1. Many thanks for this series of updates, Peter. They’re much appreciated even though there haven’t been many comments.

    Sweden seems to have taken a gamble on reaching early herd immunity, and lost. I read that they were expecting to get 20% immunity by the end of May, but have only got to about 7%, less even than the UK. Quite a few Swedes are pretty unhappy about it.

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  2. Yes, thanks for your pandemic stats, Rev Peter. I’ve watched with interest as well as playing with the graphs (any excuse to press buttons).
    It’d be very sad if you had to re-start posting updates due to a spike in infections coinciding with the appalling example set by our political leaders (elected & unelected) aka the Cummings Effect.

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  3. More on Sweden.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-lockdown-sweden-death-rate-worst-country-covid-19-a9539206.html
    ‘Mr Tegnell said on Wednesday: “If we would encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did.”’

    I wonder if the fact that their figures have remained fairly comparable with the UK could have something to do with that the measures they did put in place were done fairly early- especially regarding travellers from Northern Italy.

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