How many decades until The Hunger Games become reality?
17 Jul: BBC: Hancock calls for urgent review into coronavirus death data in England
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called for an urgent review into how coronavirus deaths have been recorded in England.
It follows confirmation from Public Health England that reported deaths may have included people who tested positive months before they died.
Other UK nations only include those who die within 28 days of a positive test.
Officials say the publication of daily death figures will be paused while the issue was “resolved”...
A note on the government’s website read: “Currently the daily deaths measure counts all people who have tested positive for coronavirus and since died, with no cut-off between time of testing and date of death...
Prof Carl Heneghan from University of Oxford, who spotted the issue with the data, told the BBC there was “huge variation” in the numbers of daily deaths reported in England by PHE.
While NHS England currently reports 30-35 deaths per day, Public Health England (PHE) data often shows double that or more, he said.
The reason is that anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus but then died at a later date of another cause would still be included in PHE’s Covid-19 death figures.
“By this PHE definition, no one with Covid in England is allowed to ever recover from their illness,” Prof Heneghan says.
“We need correct and accurate statistics so we can really understand the trend - otherwise it’s very difficult to know what’s going on,” he added.
Figures release from PHE today show that just under 10% of coronavirus deaths in England happened more than 28 days after a positive test.
In almost half of those cases, Covid-19 was recorded as the main cause of death...
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales only include deaths in their daily count if someone died within 28 days of a positive test...
Dr Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, said there was no agreed method of counting deaths from Covid-19.
“In England, we count all those that have died who had a positive Covid-19 test at any point, to ensure our data is as complete as possible...
17 Jul: UK Telegraph: Matt Hancock launches inquiry into true PHE coronavirus death figures
Government source says car accident fatality could have been counted, raising concerns true toll of virus has been inflated
By Henry Bodkin