By Sam

Nick Stripe is Head of Health Analysis and Life Events Division, Public Policy Analysis @ONS. He has recently analysed excess deaths and concludes that up until May, excess deaths were not accounted for by covid19 appearing on death certificates. The analysis suggests that many, two thirds, of these excess deaths were due to covid19, not diagnosed, in care homes. Excess deaths for other reasons, such as unattended existing serious illnesses, are not yet showing up to any great degree but may later.

“The balance of evidence so far points to undiagnosed COVID in the elderly being the most likely explanation for a majority of excess deaths that did not mention CV on certs This fits: demography, locations, esp where testing was sparse, causes of death & timings of peaks….
…..Dementia increases are so sharp it’s implausible that they are unrelated to COVID They generally affect the very old, they would tend to impact women to a greater extent than men simply due to pop structure. Especially once care home epidemics took hold with ltd testing..
– Most notably, they show v significant increases in deaths due to Dementia & Alzheimer Disease and for deaths due to old age & frailty (“signs, symptoms and ill-defined conditions”) Deaths with these causes account for two thirds of all “non-COVID” excess deaths”

At Progressive Pulse, Professor Sean Danaher provides an update on comparisons across countries of excess deaths using z scores. These standardise data on excess deaths by scaling by the standard deviation of deaths.

Professor Danaher presents the average z scores between weeks 10 to 20.

  • England 19.89
  • Scotland 7.63
  • Wales 7.07
  • Northern Ireland 3.31
  • Ireland 0.84

“England does extremely badly on this measure, and Wales looks slightly better than Scotland. Northern Ireland does well, but the clear leader using this metric is Ireland. The English figures are more than twice as bad as Scotland and Wales and far worse than NI or IE…

It’s worth noting that outside the main cities of Dublin and Cork the highest numbers of Covid cases in Ireland occurred in the border region, notably in County Cavan, suggesting that Ireland’s figures may include adverse effects of having two different public health regimes with different guidance (e.g., 7 and 14 day isolation periods in NI and IE respectively).

…The z-score for England and some chosen European countries are plotted in Fig. 5. Three of the countries Belgium (BE), Spain (ES) and Italy (IT) have been chosen as they are the worst in the EU. Sweden (SE) because of its controversial “herd immunity” strategy and Norway (NO) as being one of the best in class and a good comparator for Sweden. The average z-scores from Wk10-20 are:

  • England 19.89
  • Spain 11.9000
  • Belgium 11.2700
  • Italy 8.5300
  • Sweden 6.9000
  • Norway 0.1900

Spain and Belgium are more or less tied at 2nd place. England once again is a clear “winner”, approaching a score double the worst in the EU.The contrast between Sweden and Norway is very stark. It seems Sweden is taking a gamble, let’s hope it pays off.”

Finally, Jamie Jenkins, former statistician with ONS, states the current estimate of excess deaths in the UK .”Update: Up to the 05 June 2020, estimate 67,975 excess deaths (above average) related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.”

Scottish journalists are unlikely ever to provide their readers with this kind of information.It is a corrupt system concerned more with propaganda