This means that at least 20,000 people who died from coronavirus last year would have been likely to have died from something else. The figure is likely to be higher because many more people have died from the impact of lockdown and cuts to NHS services, which will also be caught in the excess figures.
- Sir David Spiegelhalter suggested the Government tried to ‘manipulate’ Britons
- Cherry-picked ‘worst-case scenarios’ to ‘instill a certain emotional reaction’
- No10 lambasted for its apocalyptic graphs and spurious data shown to public
Official data is ‘exaggerating’ the risk of Covid-19 and talk of a second wave is ‘misleading’, nearly 500 academics told Boris Johnson in open letter attacking lockdown.
The doctors and scientists said the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has become ‘disproportionate’ and that mass testing has distorted the risk of the virus.
Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous.
We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear.
- A blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being.
- This second wave will not trigger the explosion in deaths we saw in the spring.
- Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition.
- According to Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.
Accumulating data on deaths from covid-19 show an association with age that closely matches the “normal” risk we all face. Explaining risk in this way could help people understand and manage their response, says David Spiegelhalter
As covid-19 turns from a societal threat into a matter of risk management, it is vital that the associated risks are understood and clearly communicated.1 But these risks vary hugely between people, and so finding appropriate analogues is a challenge. Although covid-19 is a complex multisystem disease that can cause prolonged illness, here I focus solely on the risks of dying from covid-19 and explore the use of “normal” risk—the risk of death from all causes each year—as an aid to transparent communication.
- General population: the risk of catching and then dying from covid-19 during 16 weeks of the pandemic was equivalent to experiencing around 5 weeks extra “normal” risk for those over 55, decreasing steadily with age, to just 2 extra days for schoolchildren
- Over 55 who are infected with covid-19: additional risk of dying is slightly more than the “normal” risk of death from all other causes over one year, and less for under 55s.
People under 50 are more likely to die suddenly because of an accident or injury than from coronavirus, a leading risk expert has said. Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said people under 25 are more likely to die from flu or pneumonia, while under 40s have a greater risk of being killed in a road accident. The Cambridge University professor looked at the average risk for different age groups dying after contracting Covid-19 and compared it with the most recent yearly data from 2018.
Only a third of the excess deaths seen in the community in England and Wales can be explained by covid-19, new data have shown.
Of those 30 000, only 10 000 have had covid-19 specified on the death certificate. While Spiegelhalter acknowledged that some of these “excess deaths” might be the result of underdiagnosis, “the huge number of unexplained extra deaths in homes and care homes is extraordinary. When we look back . . . this rise in non-covid extra deaths outside the hospital is something I hope will be given really severe attention.”
The risk of coronavirus for the young is “staggeringly low”, the UK’s top statistician has said – as he condemned the government’s “embarrassing” handling of Covid-19.
He made withering criticisms of the Government’s handling of the crisis, saying its treatment of statistics was “not trustworthy” and amounted to “number theatre” rather than an attempt to properly inform the public.
The government’s daily briefings on #Covid_19 are “not trustworthy communication of statistics” says Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge
InProportion2 analyses the latest figures from Office for National Statistics, week ending 3 April 2020.