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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/

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News

Government urged to focus on surge in unexplained non-Covid deaths at home – The Telegraph

Experts fear people still unable to access medical care even though there are now relatively few coronavirus cases in hospitals

Twice as many people are now dying at home from unexplained causes rather than Covid-19, with experts calling for an urgent investigation into what is causing the excess deaths.

The ONS figures show that deaths in hospitals continue to be much lower than usual, suggesting that many of the home deaths are people who would ordinarily have received hospital care.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/28/deaths-home-causes-coronavirus-increase-ons-figures-reveal/

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News

Nearly three times more people dying of flu and pneumonia than coronavirus – METRO

Nearly three times as many people are now dying of flu and pneumonia than with coronavirus in England and Wales, new figures have revealed.

Numbers published by the Office For National Statistics show 917 flu and pneumonia deaths were registered for the week ending on July 10.

In comparison, 366 people died that week after testing positive for Covid-19 – the lowest number of deaths involving the virus in the last 16 weeks and a 31.2% decrease compared with the previous week, which saw 532 deaths.

Overall, the number of deaths registered in the same week was 6.1% (560 deaths) below the five-year average – the fourth consecutive week it has been below average.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/22/nearly-three-times-people-dying-flu-pneumonia-coronavirus-13021417/

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News

Lockdown may cost 200,000 lives, government report shows – The Telegraph

As national restrictions were imposed, experts from the Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the government’s Actuary Department and the Home Office forecast the collateral damage from delays to healthcare and the effects of recession arising from the pandemic response.

It estimated that in a reasonable worst case scenario, around 50,000 people would die from coronavirus in the first six months of the pandemic, with mitigation measures in place.

[T]he report published in April they calculated that up to 25,000 could die from delays to treatment in the same period and a further 185,000 in the medium to long term – amounting to nearly one million years of life lost.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/19/lockdown-may-cost-200k-lives-government-report-shows/

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Videos

Can we trust the Covid-19 death numbers? – Prof Carl Heneghan, UnHerd

Key quotes:
• There was “massive confusion” about different Covid data between England’s health bodies. “Public Health England figures are about double the ONS figures because PHE are reporting anybody who has had a positive Covid death in the past… This will get increasingly confusing as we go into the next Winter because there could be a new outbreak and new deaths while also still reporting on historical deaths… This is a problem for epidemiologists and media… ”
• Even a “28 period cut-off is still not ideal for accurate death numbers because there is “immediate cause and underlying cause… Immediate cause means you’ve had Covid within 21 days but outside of that, it becomes the underlying cause — something that contributed to your death but wasn’t a direct cause. A 21 day cut-off would be helpful because it gives a clearer understanding of that distinction”
• “We follow excess deaths which is the most accurate information about what’s going on at that moment, but it can’t tell you what those deaths are caused by” (i.e. people not coming forward with heart attacks etc)
• “There’s an important distinction between lives lost and life years lost. One of the things we’ll be watching very closely over the next six months is how many people would have actually died in the next six months… That’s where the excess deaths really matter. If we start to see it trend significantly under for the next few months, we’ll start to come forward with information that suggests there was a group of vulnerable people that any respiratory infection would have shortened their life.”
• “In the media you’ll always hear about catastrophe and the consequences of that. One of the things we notice is that when you don’t hear anything that usually means there’s good news happening. So when Sweden looks worse you hear about it but when it’s not so bad, like now, you never see it in the media.”

Categories
Opinion

This is what we amputated a limb for – Hector Drummond, The Critic

In reality many of the people who died from Covid-19 were likely to die this year anyway, so in one respect this estimate is likely to be too high. In another respect it’s likely to be too low, as it will not include ‘lockdown deaths’, that is, the deaths from delayed cancer and heart treatments, and so on, but as I was interested in the effect of Covid-19 I didn’t want those in my graph anyway. (Another complication is that not everyone who is classed as a Covid-19 death actually died from it, but I decided to ignore this.)

The five year average for 2015-19 is 531,355 deaths per year. As of writing this there were 42,462 Covid-19 deaths in the UK. There are likely to be a few more deaths in the next few weeks, but not many more, as the disease is (barring an unlikely second wave in winter), on its way out. Besides, the number we are adding on here is for the whole of the UK, not just England and Wales, so if anything this number is inflated. That gives us 573,817 deaths for 2020. Then I got hold of the historical population figures for England and Wales, and calculated the death rates per 1000 from it, so that population increases are taken account of. Here is the result:

https://thecritic.co.uk/this-is-what-we-amputated-a-limb-for/

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Opinion

Fact Checking. Matt Hancock’s figures on Covid deaths among shop workers analysed – Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday

Ben Humberstone, Head of Health Analysis and Life Events, Office for National Statistics:

‘Today’s analysis shows that jobs involving close proximity with others, and those where there is regular exposure to disease, have some of the highest rates of death from COVID-19. However, our findings do not prove conclusively that the observed rates of death involving COVID-19 are necessarily caused by differences in occupational exposure.’

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/07/fact-checking-matt-hancocks-figures-on-covid-deaths-among-shop-workers-analysed-.html

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Opinion

This is what we shot ourselves in the foot for – Hector Drummond

Novelist Hector Drummond decided to look at the annual death figures for England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics. This is what he found after graphing the numbers all the way back to the turn of the twentieth century.

The 2020 death figures on the right cannot even be considered a spike over the course of the century.

He explained his methodology in this post:

Categories
News

Coronavirus: Majority testing positive have no symptoms – BBC News

Only 22% of people testing positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Note: the article deduces that this shows the importance of asymptomatic transmission. However, cases of asymptomatic transmission has been found to be very rare.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53320155

Categories
Publications

UK GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020 – Office for National Statistics

In June 2020, The Office for National Statistics released their Gross domestic product (GDP) report for April 2020. They calculated that GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April. This was directly caused by the UK government’s policy of lockdown.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpmonthlyestimateuk/april2020

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News

UK COVID-19: we protected our NHS by dying at home – Alistair Haimes