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Publications

Annual deaths and mortality rates, 1938 to 2020 (provisional) – ONS

Number of deaths, crude and age-standardised mortality rates from 1938 to 2020. Age-standardised mortality rates start in 1942.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/12735annualdeathsandmortalityrates1938to2020provisional

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Publications

Expected life loss due to Covid-19 suppression efforts – Prof Simon Wood, University of Edinburgh

[W]e require the current economic shock, which is much larger than 2008, to result in much smaller life loss than was associated with 2008. Otherwise we will lose more life to the economic effects of Covid-19 suppression efforts than were ever likely to have been lost to Covid-19 itself. Of course the consequences of the 2008 crisis were amplified by the policies adopted thereafter, and perhaps those consequences could have been substantially alleviated by a more enlightened approach. But the historical record from the UK does not suggest a willingness to vote for such an approach, even if any sort of credible plan for avoiding the economic life loss were actually to be proposed. The 1945 election was perhaps the exception, but it’s unclear that several months stuck at home on your sofa really leads to the same sort of cathartic re-evaluation of life’s priorities as storming the beaches of Normandy.

Source: Prof. Simon Wood, University of Edinburgh
Source: Prof. Simon Wood, University of Edinburgh

https://web.archive.org/web/20201101062720/https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~swood34/

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News

UK borrowing hits highest November level on record – BBC

The Office for National Statistics said borrowing hit £31.6bn last month, the highest November figure on record.

It was also the third-highest figure in any month since records began in 1993.

Since the beginning of the financial year, borrowing to cover the gap between spending and revenues has reached £240.9bn, £188.6bn more than a year ago.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that the amount could reach £372.2bn by the end of the financial year in March

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55408444

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News

Data showing rising cases before second lockdown quietly revised down – Telegraph

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data – which showed soaring coronavirus cases before the second lockdown – has been quietly revised down and now suggests that cases were largely plateauing at the time, it has emerged.

Many experts have complained that the data presented by the Government ahead of the lockdown was “riddled with errors” and exaggerated the need for a second lockdown, while Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said the belated admission of errors was “of great concern”.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201208165734/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/08/data-showing-rising-cases-second-lockdown-quietly-revised/

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News

UK coronavirus infections may be ‘stabilising’ – BBC

The increase in coronavirus infections appears to be slowing around the UK, latest data from the Office for National Statistics show.

Although the number of people with Covid continues to rise, the growth is levelling off.

In the week to 30 October, ONS says new daily infections in England stabilised at around 50,000.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54841375

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News

Coronavirus second wave has claimed the lives of just 17 victims under 40: Official figures show the disease is 100 times as deadly for the oldest victims as it is for the young – Daily Mail

  • Only 17 people under 40 died with Covid between the end of August and the middle of this month.
  • Increased infections among children and young adults has not led to their hospitalisations or deaths.
  • One person under the age of 20, and another 13 under 40, have died with coronavirus in English hospitals since the start of September.
  • 1,425 patients over 80 have died over the same period, along with another 1,093 aged between 60 and 79.
  • 247 deaths among working-age people since the end of summer compared with 2,026 among pensioners

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8890811/Coronavirus-claimed-lives-just-17-victims-40-figures-elderly-risk.html

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Visitor Contributions

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

In the interest of public debate, we allow visitors to share opinions, experiences and research that may be of value to others. This is a visitor contribution from our Discussions page.

The views expressed are those of the individual posters themselves. Please read our Comments and contributions disclaimer.

Author

George Michael

  • Credentials: Physics graduate, University College London (UCL); Senior Research Analyst
  • Contact: LinkedIn

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world at a horrific scale, and people are trying to form their own opinions — rightly so — on topics ranging from disease severity to government policy. However, the general public are not exposed to a consistent flow of reliable information, so many are suffering from fear, confusion, and isolation, exacerbated by extreme differences in opinion on how seriously any aspect of the pandemic should be taken. These are the problems that this report aims to address.

Read the full article on Medium: The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

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News

Coronavirus not among 10 most common causes of death in September – Sky News

There were 2,703 excess deaths across England and Wales in September, official figures show – but coronavirus was not in the 10 leading causes of fatality.

The leading cause of death in September for both nations was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-not-among-10-most-common-causes-of-death-in-september-ons-12111980

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News

‘No sign of second wave’ as ONS data shows normal level of deaths for time of year – The Telegraph

There is no sign of a second coronavirus wave, experts have said as new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed that deaths are just 1.5 per cent above the five-year average and tracking on a normal trajectory for the time of year.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/20/second-wave-not-sight-ons-figures-show-deaths-just-15-per-cent/

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Opinion

Britain must not be sacrificed on the altar of fighting Covid-19 – Prof. Dingwall, Daily Mail

  • [The fight against Covid] ignores the devastating social and economic impact of Covid restrictions, and exaggerates the threat the disease poses.
  • Despite all the hysteria, this is not a modern plague.
  • In the week ending October 2, Covid accounted for just 3.2 per cent of all fatalities in British hospitals.
  • Even with the recent rise in infections, Covid mortality levels are drastically lower now than at the peak of the pandemic in the spring.
  • That toll may increase, but it is highly unlikely to reach the levels we saw in spring.
  • Covid-19 is a cruel disease that targets the old or those whose life expectancy is compromised by ill-health.
  • While every life is precious, the average age of patients who die with Covid-19 is 82.4.
  • Since August, just one otherwise healthy person under 30 has died with the disease, while in the same period only 97 victims have been younger than 60.
  • One study in June by the Office for National Statistics found 91 per cent of people who died with Covid in England and Wales between March and June had at least one pre-existing condition.
  • Contrary to the depressing propaganda, six in every seven people who are infected over the age of 90 actually survive.
  • [T]here is little convincing scientific evidence to support the belief that these venues are significant arenas of transmission.
  • Much of the North and the Midlands has been living with Covid restrictions for months, yet it has not stemmed the rise in positive cases.
  • There is not a single documented case of any student this autumn yet dying from Covid.
  • In 40 years, scientists have never found an HIV/AIDS vaccine, nor has one been discovered for the SARS virus in 18 years.
  • A vaccine will probably be more like an annual flu jab — which will give some protection but not stop you contracting the disease — rather than a measles vaccine, which provides a lifetime’s protection.
  • Edinburgh University argued that heavy-handed use of lockdowns and social distancing could cost between 149,000 and 178,000 lives over the course of the pandemic — far more than have died from Covid.
  • The Government likely borrowing more than £350 billion this year — will have be paid by generations to come.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8836699/Britain-not-sacrificed-altar-fighting-Covid-19-writes-Professor-ROBERT-DINGWALL.html

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News

Covid: Deaths near lowest level since March – BBC

Coronavirus accounted for 1% of all deaths in England and Wales in the second week of this month.

That’s among the lowest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since March when the pandemic took hold.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54248150

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Opinion

Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives – Dr. Mike Yeadon

I believe I have identified a serious, really a fatal flaw in the PCR test used in what is called by the UK Government the Pillar 2 screening – that is, testing many people out in their communities. I’m going to go through this with care and in detail because I’m a scientist and dislike where this investigation takes me. 

…In the last 40 years alone the UK has had seven official epidemics/pandemics; AIDS, Swine flu, CJD, SARS, MERS, Bird flu as well as annual, seasonal flu. All were very worrying but schools remained open and the NHS treated everybody and most of the population were unaffected. The country would rarely have been open if it had been shut down every time.

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Videos

Dr Mike Yeadon: ‘Government are using a Covid-19 test with undeclared false positive rates.’ – talkRadio

Dr. Mike Yeadon, former Chief Scientific Advisor, Pfizer:

  • The evidence suggests that a substantial number of the positive cases are false positives.
  • The government doesn’t know or is not disclosing the false positive rate.
  • False positive rate may be as high as 1%, which would mean most or all of the positives are false positives.
  • We are finding traces of an ‘old’ virus which can’t possibly make people sick.
  • The test looks for a piece of genetic code. A positive test does not mean someone is sick.
  • ONS says the prevalence of the virus is less than 0.1%.
  • Pillar 2 (community) testing seems to be flawed. Method of processing samples would be inadmissible if this were a forensic case.
  • The number of COVID deaths is continuing to stay low and fallen for 6 months. For it to suddenly increase would need a big change in transmission.
  • Young people would have been the first who caught COVID-19 because they were not social distancing. The idea that the young people are now getting it is “for the birds.”
  • If positive tests are false, they will be distributed evenly in the population. This is what we’re finding.
  • Mass testing is not the answer.
  • Sweden is not doing mass testing and their society has had 0.06% of their population die from COVID-19. This is the same as the UK.
  • We are using a test with an undeclared false-positive rate.
  • Are we re-testing the positives? This is unclear.
  • A second lockdown is going to amplify the non-COVID deaths.
  • UK’s lockdown was too late to prevent the initial spread.
  • Mass population immunity is keeping the deaths low. This is the most reasonable explanation for the differences between the models and reality.

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News

Flu and pneumonia killed 10 times as many Brits as Covid-19 last week, statistics show – The Mirror

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that in the week ending 28 August 2020 1,040 deaths were linked to influenza or pneumonia. However, just 101 deaths were linked to coronavirus

https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/flu-pneumonia-killed-10-times-22666018

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News

Odds of catching coronavirus are now 44 in a million, figures reveal – The Sun

THE odds of catching Covid-19 in England are about 44 in a million a day, official figures show.

There are between 1,200 and 4,200 new infections a day, testing figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest.

And many of those infected will not even know they have it.

Only about one person in 100 dies after being infected and another one in 100 suffer long-term effects.

There is just a one in two million chance of dying from Covid-19 in England.

That means coronavirus is as risky as taking a bath or skiing — and considerably less risky than scuba diving or sky diving.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12557446/chance-catching-covid-44-in-million/

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News

We are massively overreacting to new Covid ‘outbreaks’ – The Telegraph

The Imperial College study published this morning claiming that 3.4 million people ( six per cent of the UK population) have antibodies indicating that they have been exposed to Covid-19 provides no great revelation. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has already published similar figures suggesting that 6.5 per cent of the population has been infected. Nevertheless, it is yet more confirmation of how irrelevant are the official statistics for Covid 19 cases – and what a nonsense it is to rely on them for policymaking.

According to the Government’s Covid “dashboard”, updated at 4pm on Wednesday, 313,798 people in Britain have had the disease. This is less than one tenth of the number suggested by the Imperial study. In other words, for all Matt Hancock’s efforts to ramp up testing, the vast majority of cases have not been detected.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/13/massively-overreacting-new-covid-outbreaks/

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News

Lockdown ‘killed two people for every three that died of coronavirus – Daily Mail

  • 16,000 people died because they didn’t get healthcare from March 23 to May 1
  • At the same time, 25,000 Britons died of coronavirus at the pandemic’s height
  • Of the 16,000, 6,000 were unwell people who were too scared to go to A&E
  • It is feared that 81,500 people could die over next 50 years because of lockdown
  • In the next five years, 1,400 could die as they were diagnosed with cancer late
  • The new figures were presented to the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) in the middle of July.
  • They were calculated by the Department of Health, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Government Actuary’s Department and the Home Office.
  • The 16,000 people who died included 6,000 who didn’t go to A&E during lockdown because they feared catching the virus.
  • Another 10,000 people are thought to have died in care homes after early discharge from hospital and a lack of access to care.
  • A further 26,000 people could die by next month because of the restrictions, while in total 81,500 people could lose their lives in the next 50 years because of the virus.
  • In more bad news, the next five years could see 1,400 people die because they were diagnosed with cancer too late.
  • An earlier report by the same team suggested deaths caused by delayed care amid the virus they could be as high as 185,000.
  • Professor Neil Mortensen, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, warned that the health service ‘must never again be a coronavirus-only service’.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8605885/Lockdown-killed-two-people-three-died-coronavirus.html

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Opinion

We need a Covid reality check and to focus on getting our economy back – The Telegraph

Here is the good news: No matter how old you are, you are extremely unlikely to die of Covid-19. Even if a lockdown had not been instituted and no social distancing implemented, and assuming Imperial College’s controversial worst-case scenario estimate of 500,000 deaths, there would have been a 99% likelihood of surviving the pandemic.

This is no bubonic plague. That killed very nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population in the 14th century. Here is some more good news: a lockdown was instituted and social distancing measures are now well entrenched in our behaviour. As a result, the chance of surviving the pandemic is more like 99.9%.

If you are fortunate to be under the age of 45, your chances of dying from the virus are negligible. You are more likely to die from a lightning strike. The Office of National Statistics estimates that only 0.07% of the population in England is currently infected by the virus. That equates to about 35,000 people.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/07/need-covid-reality-check-focus-getting-economy-back/

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News

Thousands of coronavirus deaths ‘will be wiped off the government’s official toll’ after urgent review into counting fiasco – Daily Mail

  • Public Health England was miscounting coronavirus death, official review found.
  • Could see up to 4,000 deaths removed  from England’s official toll of 41,749, or 10 per cent.
  • Ministers count victims as anyone who died after ever testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they were hit by a bus after beating the disease months later.
  • The statistical flaw was uncovered by Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Yoon Loke, from the University of East Anglia.
  • The Office for National Statistics, another Government agency, also records Covid-19 deaths, and is considered the most reliable source.
  • The ONS — which is not affected by the counting method — has confirmed at least 51,596 people have died in England and Wales up to July 24.
  • Around 58 Brits are now succumbing to the life-threatening infection each day, on average.
  • The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.
  • Department of Health bosses say 820 Britons are now being struck down with the life-threatening virus every day, on average. The rate has been rising since dropping to a four-month low of 546 on July 8.
  • The number of patients being admitted to hospital has yet to spike, bolstering claims from top scientists that the outbreak is not getting worse and cases are only rising because more patients are being tested.
  • Just 109 coronavirus patients were admitted for NHS care across the UK on August 2 — a figure which has barely changed throughout July. During the darkest days of Britain’s crisis in April, around 3,500 patients were needing hospital treatment every day.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8599213/Thousands-Covid-19-deaths-wiped-governments-official-toll-counting-fiasco.html

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News

‘Lockdown has killed 21,000 people’, say experts – The Telegraph

Almost 2,700 people a week have died because of the effects of lockdown, analysis of official data suggests.

The study by economists and academics from Sheffield and Loughborough universities suggests more than 21,000 people died as a result of the measures introduced in March. 

The analysis examines Office for National Statistics (ONS) data in the eight weeks that followed the national lockdown.

Researchers said the findings show that “lockdown has killed 21,000 people” because the policy has had “significant unintended consequences” such as lack of access to critical healthcare and a collapse in A&E attendances.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/29/lockdown-has-killed-21000-people-say-experts/