Coronavirus: Reporting Scotland see the facts but don't ask why deaths are running at half the level in Scottish hospitals

BBC Reporting Scotland showed the above graph last night. Any fool can see that the Scottish deaths are not soaring like the cases. BBC Newsnight showed the one below, without my addition of the Scottish death rate (red), and any fool can see that the UK deaths are soaring:

Using a graph that shouts ‘Why are the deaths so low compared to the cases?’ but not referring to the UK figures, Lisa Summers seemed unable to think the obvious: ‘Something different, something good, is happening in Scotland’s hospitals‘.

Looking at the figures, as of last night:

  • Scotland 584 cases 16 deaths, 2.7%
  • UK 8 077 cases 422 deaths, 5%

The death rate, per head of population, in Scotland, is running at half the level and it’s not, as some argue, because we are ‘behind’:

8% of the population 7.2% of the cases but only 3.7% of the deaths: Why?

You know what the answer is. Johnson prepared us to think it it:

‘Scotland’s hospitals are saving more lives from coronavirus because they are more resilient than those across the UK wounded by ten years of Tory austerity.’

11 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Reporting Scotland see the facts but don't ask why deaths are running at half the level in Scottish hospitals

  1. BRAVO , well done what you say is just reward for all the hard work our Scottish NHS people do and for the Scottish government SNP and greens who consistently vote for the extra budget that enables the superior numbers employed therein make no mistake though, Labour Tory and Lib Dem’s in Holyrood would reduce the NHS spending and the staff numbers if they had a majority and Scotland would then have like England and Wales twice the number of people dying.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sadly, a few seem to be more keen on attacking the Scottish Government, the SNP, the First Minister or some of the senior medical and clinical officers.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It may also be because we’re behind the infection curve of London and Birmingham therefore good care in Scottish Health Service hospitals is possible. Whereas, in overwhelmed areas around the globe good care turns into difficult choice triage.

      Too early, I think, to know how it’s going to pan out here as higher infection numbers kick in.


  2. Eek, that’s a scary graph – the second one. Nothing like an exponential curve to bring it home. But, the red curve, Scotland’s curve, does seem to be ‘flattening the peak’, which is what we want – let’s hope it stays flat. Keep up the good work Scottish NHS!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Better treatment is likely to be the answer. This extract from an interview with WHO’s Bruce Aylward suggests that may well be the reason.

    “In Guangdong province, for example, there were 320,000 tests done in people coming to fever clinics, outpatient clinics. And at the peak of the outbreak, 0.47 percent of those tests were positive. People keep saying [the cases are the] tip of the iceberg. But we couldn’t find that. We found there’s a lot of people who are cases, a lot of close contacts — but not a lot of asymptomatic circulation of this virus in the bigger population. And that’s different from flu. In flu, you’ll find this virus right through the child population, right through blood samples of 20 to 40 percent of the population.

    Julia Belluz
    If you didn’t find the “iceberg” of mild cases in China, what does it say about how deadly the virus is — the case fatality rate?

    Bruce Aylward
    It says you’re probably not way off. The average case fatality rate is 3.8 percent in China, but a lot of that is driven by the early epidemic in Wuhan where numbers were higher. If you look outside of Hubei province [where Wuhan is], the case fatality rate is just under 1 percent now. I would not quote that as the number. That’s the mortality in China — and they find cases fast, get them isolated, in treatment, and supported early. Second thing they do is ventilate dozens in the average hospital; they use extracorporeal membrane oxygenation [removing blood from a person’s body and oxygenating their red blood cells] when ventilation doesn’t work. This is sophisticated health care. They have a survival rate for this disease I would not extrapolate to the rest of the world. What you’ve seen in Italy and Iran is that a lot of people are dying.

    This suggests the Chinese are really good at keeping people alive with this disease, and just because it’s 1 percent in the general population outside of Wuhan doesn’t mean it [will be the same in other countries].

    Julia Belluz
    That’s really concerning for the rest of the world. Are you suggesting this is the big one — the once-a-century pandemic people have been bracing for?

    Bruce Aylward
    It’s not. It can be the big one but like, for flu — whether you have a pandemic with flu, it’s a function of the virus. That’s a virus with a very, very high infectivity rate, a very, very high transmissibility rate. The time [the virus] takes to go from [one person to the next] can be as short as 1.5 days. For Covid-19, it’s longer — four to five days. Look around the world. We’re seeing a whole bunch of outbreaks controlled with the right responses, and even turned around if they get to a bad state.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The blue line on that second graph suggests that NHS England went into meltdown somewhere around 13 March. Why is this not a scandal? Why are the media not hounding the British politicians responsible for this failure?

    Liked by 1 person

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