Covid-19GovernmentHealthHealth fascism

Week 16 ONS numbers

The latest ONS figures are out for England and Wales for week 16 (up to April 17).

Almost 11 854 excess deaths in week 16 over five-year average. But only 8758 ‘with Covid-19 deaths’ (and as we know, some of those will not be caused by Covid). So we still have reason to suspect the lockdown is killing people, and quite possibly more than it saves. (Click to enlarge.)

 

In addition there were about 1800 more deaths at home than is usual. Are they all going to be Covid? (Click to enlarge.)

 

Deaths in care homes have also shot up to 7316, which is ~5000 more than usual. Probably most of those will be Covid, but not necessarily all.

We should end the lockdown, and focus on helping the care homes, where the most at-risk people are.

Update: Just a reminder that I’m open for guest posts. I’m intending to have a lot more guest posts in the future, and make it less about just me, and to that end I’m currently sorting out a new magazine-style theme that I’ve bought. It should also provide a faster load than the current one.

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29 thoughts on “Week 16 ONS numbers

  1. Mr Drummond, you state in your article above: “Deaths in care homes have also shot up to 7316, which is ~5000 more than usual. Probably most of those will be Covid, but not necessarily all.”

    Not so. According to the ONS report: In Week 16, the proportion of deaths in care homes involving COVID-19 was 28.0% (2,050 deaths).

    I don’t suppose the MSM will mention this, of course.

  2. I note your caution about the deaths “with” COVID-19 not necessarily being deaths “from”, which is correct. People being sent to hospital dying of cancer, say, acquiring a nosocomial infection while they’re there. There may also be deaths from other respiratory infections that have simply been assumed to be COVID.

    But at the same time, bear in mind that many of the deaths which have not been flagged as “with COVID-19” will actually have been both with and from it. It’s likely many people will be undiagnosed if they didn’t have contact with a medical professional, and also worth noting the COVID tests seem to have high rates of false negatives. Errors and omissions in death certificates won’t just be one way. It would be disingenuous to assume all the errors work in favour of your argument. Of course that also applies to all the people who argue the death toll from COVID is as simple as taking excess deaths compared to the previous few years’ average!

    The big unknown is how many people would have died in the absence of a lockdown which sadly is the kind of counterfactual which is only answerable by some form of modelling and therefore probably impossible to resolve with finality (there are still academic papers being written arguing about the effectiveness of the responses to the Spanish flu, so I fear we could all come back in 300 years’ time and still find epidemiologists arguing about COVID).

  3. It is rather galling that the population’s civil liberties have been totally upended and yet people with COVID are being sent from hospital to care homes which as you point out are where the most at-risk people are most densely concentrated. I can’t work out what the logic behind this was at all: the PHE guidance seems to have been that they would be isolated there, but this seems to have been quite far-fetched as hopes go. Patients with dementia are going to wander, and even if they stay in their room care staff will need to enter and there’s a good chance of them passing the infection around (especially if they are not well provided for with PPE compared to hospitals).

    I understand the Chinese style solution to this was something like a half-way house where patients were cared for until asymptomatic AND had passed negative on multiple COVID tests taken over several days (a sensible precaution given the rate of false negatives). This form of quarantine might turn out to be a sensible use for all the empty hotels or the Nightingale hospitals. At any rate, some sort of solution must not be beyond the wit of man. I remain puzzled why you would go to such extreme lengths with the general public, with all the economic, psychological and civil liberty losses that results in, yet take only the most minimal steps to protect the most vulnerable – it seems weirdly disproportionate. My fear is what got done is what got modelled (with modellers “fighting the last war” – lockdown was used against the Ebola outbreak they’d recently been working on) and quarantine for the elderly and care homes hadn’t been modelled therefore wasn’t considered to be “supported by the evidence” (whereas if it had been modelled, it might have been regarded as “strongly supported by the evidence”… Or not, I suppose, if the modelling had assumed it would remain safely contained by isolation policies within care homes).

  4. Child Deaths suspected to be CV-19 related:

    Most are non-white – no surprise

    Is Racism the Reason Coronavirus Affects Ethnic Minorities More?

    Piers etc totally onboard ‘racist virus’ bus

    Maybe Boris should order all non-whites to stay home like over 70s – that would be fun

    My theory: for over 2,000 years Whites have been exploring world and built immunities, most others stayed where born and lack immunity genes memory

    @MBE

    “This form of quarantine might turn out to be a sensible use for all the empty hotels or the Nightingale hospitals”

    What I said when this last week
    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/04/21/the-anti-lockdown-strategy/

    I note many Doctors now saying same

  5. I charted this analysis of the ONS weekly data by date of occurrence of death:

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0KlJb/1/

    We can see clearly that there has been a sharp fall in non-COVID deaths in hospitals, which appears to have been shunted off to other locations – primarily at home or in care homes, with an overall rise in mortality for non-COVID deaths. I suspect that the apparent peak in week 15 may be just about real – it’s certainly the case in the NHS COVID numbers by date of actual death. I’ve not checked yet to see how much revision takes place from one week to the next. Note: it was necessary to construct this chart by subtracting the COVID deaths from the total deaths to produce the non COVID deaths by death setting.

    N.B. ONS say:
    These figures also show the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19), based on any mention of COVID-19 on the death certificate.

  6. By 23 April only 2,067 people have died from/with Covid-19 in (UK ex Scotland)ICUs. https://www.icnarc.org/Our-Audit/Audits/Cmp/Reports (PDF pages 15 & 17)

    Most of the cumulative Covid-19 deaths have occurred in hospital. https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/tracking-mortality-over-time/

    But why would so many of the critically ill ‘Covid-19’ patients die on an NHS general ward without being moved to an ICU as they deteriorate? Isn’t the obvious reason that these patients already had other significant health issues and were by that time on palliative care only?

    Ive seen several anecdotal comments of eg heart failure reclassed as Covid19 eg https://twitter.com/DominicFrisby/status/1254662872870924290 thread.

  7. Yes I read that link when you posted it. At the very least someone would have to give me a very persuasive explanation indeed, with some hard evidence attached, to see why the government posture on this isn’t barking. I can’t see how even in theory it was thought to make any sense.

  8. The big issue with case fatality rates is “what is a case?” This turns out to be a very amorphous concept indeed! Essentially the more stringent your definition of case becomes, the higher the fatality rate is per case (even if the rate per infection stays the same).

  9. “The big unknown is how many people would have died in the absence of a lockdown which sadly is the kind of counterfactual which is only answerable by some form of modelling…”

    Or by the outcomes experiences by countries like Sweden, and the several US states that decided not to have lockdowns.

    From everything I have seen, they have all done at least as well as countries and states with lockdowns. And a great deal better than most.

    See, for example, https://dailycaller.com/2020/04/22/tucker-carlson-science-shutdown-coronavirus/

  10. “Is Racism the Reason Coronavirus Affects Ethnic Minorities More?”

    Yes. Yes, it is. Apparently Covid-19 is a racist virus! It discriminates against black and brown people.

    That is probably the very most frightening thing about it.

  11. Direct comparison without any form of statistical correction doesn’t take account of differences in population age structure, housing (eg Sweden has a lot of one-person households which reduces a key area of transmission), urbanisation, public transport usage, geographic isolation/interconnectedness (far easier for NZ to aim to eliminate the virus than, say, Ontario)…

    Moreover the statistics simply aren’t comparable at present. Deaths counted in hospitals only, care homes, the community? Deaths recorded as COVID-related as a result of testing (which has false negative problems), doctor’s diagnosis (which has both false positive and false negative problems), doctor’s mere suspicion? Excess deaths calculated by some fancy regression method?

    So people are going to be arguing about this til kingdom come. And the statistical modelling they use to apply those corrections is always going to be contentious. Certainly someone comparing raw, unadjusted data would have to acknowledge there are flaws in doing so even if they prefer that approach to one that seems to tinker with the figures, and they can’t expect to have the definitive and final word in the debate. Even in retrospect I don’t think we ever “know”the answer, in a non-contentious way,

  12. It’s true, I’ve viewed it’s DNA under a microscope and it’s not a double helix, but rather it’s evolved in to a double swastika. The Adolf Hitler of viruses. Front page on the i tmw!

  13. “I remain puzzled why you would go to such extreme lengths with the general public, with all the economic, psychological and civil liberty losses that results in, yet take only the most minimal steps to protect the most vulnerable – it seems weirdly disproportionate. ”

    I think you underestimate how incompetent fearful people can be. I’ve found most older people rather indifferent to this virus. My mother is in a risk group and blase about it, my sister inlaw who is young healthy absolute paranoid about it.

    There has been a deliberate policy to overstate the risks to people outside the actual risk group, that has blinded many to the places were should have given the best focus. I think this is a direct consequence of the fear mongering that has marked this virus.

  14. I just remembered Belarus!
    From Wiki: “On 16 March 2020, president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, dismissed the threat of coronavirus and encouraged working in fields and driving tractors as a way of overcoming the pandemic: “You just have to work, especially now, in a village there, the tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone”. He later referred to it as “psychosis” and stated “it is better to die on our feet, than live on your knees. Sport, especially on ice, is better than any antiviral medication, it is the real thing”. He also proposed “poisoning” the coronavirus with vodka”
    At the time he was laughed at by our press and people were shocked that they were still playing football. From what I can see, there is still no lockdown there.
    The population of Belarus is 9.485 million. As of April 28th, they had 79 recorded Coronavirus deaths with over 161000 tested.
    Of course, the numbers could be lies – their government is unlikely to be a paragon of truth like ours /sarc.

  15. Myburningears: I think you’ve asked the key questions that should have been asked right at the outset. It certainly seems that those who make the decisions are completely divorced from the people they will affect – Hancock’s puzzlement over the “lack of demand” for the available tests sums it up in a nutshell. I too keep wondering why the most vulnerable have been put most at risk.

  16. Today’s ‘daily’ figure of 4400 is evidently an attempt to obfuscate all truth and win the coronavirus stakes. We have now passed Spain, hooray! It seems that selection to get categorised as a coronavirus victim is compromised by a political agenda.

  17. Read this today

    – Mrs Gove: Sick inc CV-19 not phoning 999 as they don’t want to die in isolation in hospital, want to die with family present

    Makes sense to me

    I’ve been saying this for a few weeks; Trump saying too
    Delingpole: Piers Morgan May Have Terminal Coronavirus Derangement Syndrome

    @Dene Bebbington

    More deranged
    Activists Protest Trevor Phillips’s Role in Ethnic Minority Deaths Review over His ‘Islamophobia’

    Why the heck has Gov launched “an inquiry into the high proportion of black and minority ethnic (BAME) deaths due to coronavirus”?

    It was reported on in February before CV19 deaths in UK started using data from foreign countries. It’s Genetics, no multi-million pound lawyer bonanza needed

  18. BBC did point out that adjusting for urban area demographics largely accounted for the difference in rates, but were still claiming a 3% difference was significant and had to be investigated . Quite how something as simple as that took weeks for them to discover and wasn’t even in the original article as a possibility shows the poor level of reporting we have seen throughout this pandemic

  19. Um, Stephen Lawrence wasn’t murdered by police officers, he was murdered by assailants who may or may not have been the ones who were actually convicted of the crime.

  20. Thanks, got mixed up with another case. Still, this seems like a ridiculous politically motivated gesture on Labour’s part.

  21. All-Cause Mortality Surveillance 30 April 2020 – Week 18 report (up to week 17 data)

    In week 17 2020, statistically significant excess all-cause mortality by week of death was observed overall and by age group in the 15-64 and 65+ year olds and in all regions in England, through the EuroMOMO algorithm.

    In the devolved administrations, no statistically significant excess all-cause mortality for all ages was observed for Northern Ireland or Wales in week 17. Statistically significant excess all-cause mortality for all ages was observed for Scotland in week 15

    All-cause death registrations (ONS), England and Wales – In week 16 2020, an estimated 22,351 all-cause deaths were registered in England and Wales (source: Office for National Statistics). This is an increase compared to the 18,516 estimated death registrations in week 15 2020

    In week 17 2020 in England, statistically significant excess mortality by week of death above the upper 2 z-score threshold was seen overall, by age group in the 15-64 and 65+ year olds and sub nationally (all ages) in all regions (North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East & West Midlands, East of England, London and South East & West regions) after correcting GRO disaggregate data for reporting delay with the standardised EuroMOMO algorithm (Figure 1). This data is provisional due to the time delay in registration; numbers may vary from week to week

    In the devolved administrations, no statistically significant excess all-cause mortality for all ages was observed for Northern Ireland or Wales in week 17. Statistically significant excess all-cause mortality for all ages was observed for Scotland in week 15

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882399/Weekly_all_cause_mortality_surveillance_week_18_2020_report.pdf

    #OrangeMenGood still prevailing in NI. Overall, still not a Pandemic, simply a “Bad Flu” – media & Govs over-reaction becoming increasingly evident every week

  22. For people presenting the argument that “we don’t know and won’t know” if lockdown was the answer or not and that we can not compare country statistics….

    The very fact that it is unclear and we are not able to 100% say either way at this time should speak volumes in that the science backing the lockdown, is questionable to say the least.

    Additionally, it WILL become more clear as time goes on and more research is done. I suspect people who back the lockdown will tend to side towards confusion and “we can’t” know, where as those who tend towards the side of against the lockdown will be of the opposite, more scientific opinion.

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