Britain’s coronavirus outbreak may have killed 53 per cent more people than daily Government statistics let on, meaning thousands of victims are still uncounted.
Weekly data released today showed that deaths outside of hospitals pushed England’s death toll to 21,284 for April 17, a significant rise on the 13,917 announced on that date by the Department of Health.
If the same increase – 52.9 per cent – were applied to the total death toll announced yesterday (21,092) it could mean the real number of victims is 32,249.
Office for National Statistics data, which gives a weekly picture of how many people have died outside of hospitals, recorded 3,096 care home deaths in the week from April 11 to April 17. This was almost triple the 1,043 announced the week before.
Many of those who die outside of hospitals are not tested for the coronavirus while alive, meaning this data shows Britain’s outbreak is much larger than it appears.
So many people are being killed by the virus that that week, from April 11 to 17, was the deadliest since records began in 1993 and had a death toll more than double the yearly average.
The World Health Organization has warned that half of COVID-19 deaths happening in Europe are taking place in nursing homes, and the UK’s count is rising fast.
British officials have faced heavy criticism for not offering enough support to the sector and chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance said they were warned ‘very early on’.
Office for National Statistics shows a difference of 53 per cent between the daily death counts and the backdated information it releases once a week
The Office for National Statistics data is the most accurate information about the numbers of people who die of coronavirus – or any other cause – each week.
It counts deaths in hospitals as well as those that happen in other places such as nursing homes, in public, in hospices or in their own houses.
The downside to the data, however, is that it is backdated and takes a long time to record, meaning it’s 10 days out of date by the time it gets published.
In a bid to speed up recording, the sector regulator the Care Quality Commission has also been drafted in to collect reports of confirmed and suspected deaths caused by COVID-19.
The CQC’s data has been reported today for the first time and shows that 4,343 people are believed to have died with the disease in care homes between April 10 and 24.
So many people are being killed by the virus in England that more people died in the week from April 11 to April 17 than in any other week since records began in 1993.
A total 22,351 deaths were recorded in just seven days – one person every 27 seconds – and 8,758 of them had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate.
The total was more than double the average for that week of the year – 10,497 – and coronavirus deaths almost hit the average on their own.
Not all of the deaths will be as a direct result of COVID-19. For instance, scores of victims who tested positive will have died from other causes.
Courtesy DAILY MAIL