Scotland had the 3rd highest Covid-19 death rate in only 2 weeks out of 28 but the ONS chose those for media consumption

Office for National Statistics

By Alex Marshall

Its not even ‘HAD’: ONS v Euromomo

Excess mortality Z score indicates how much excess deaths there are per head of population looking at euromomo’s graphs:

I’ve copied the maximal Z scores for the epidemic in some european countries:

spain 43.58
england 39.6
france 24.31
belgium 24.29
wales 18.9
italy 16.65
scotland 15.92
sweden 12.93

The base width in weeks is about the same for each country’s hump. As you see Scotland is way down the list. It has only been in 3rd place in 2020 weeks 19 and 22 long after the peaks .

I wonder why ONS chose these weeks for their table?

4 thoughts on “Scotland had the 3rd highest Covid-19 death rate in only 2 weeks out of 28 but the ONS chose those for media consumption”

  1. Good spot, Alex. I think we can all answer that question.

    Just for balance here is a tweet from a different source in the ONS to which I can only say, “some uptick”.

    Nick Stripe
    Latest COVID infection survey estimates 1 in 1,500 people in England are infected (c.36,000 people) up from 1 in 2,000 (c.28,000 people) last week

    4,200 new infections each day, up from 2,800 in last week’s estimates

    Signs of an uptick

    Modelling suggested 300 infections in Scotland.


  2. Thanks for providing this, Alex.

    As I had expected, the ONS has been pretty rigorous with regard to the presentation of data, and has provided a helpful information base from which to make some tentative impressionistic conclusions at this stage.

    It is unfortunate that they chose two weeks out of around 30 to provide examples of ‘league table’ data. Why these weeks were chosen is anyone’s guess. However, the glee with which the media has leapt on them as ‘proof’ that Scotland has fared no better than England is not unexpected. I wonder if the media would have been able to ‘cherry pick’ these particular data had they not been presented to them.

    Given that the tables allow, in some cases, for a number of comparisons to be made, I wonder why the ‘league tables’ table, did not have a facility to look at the ‘league tables’ in each of the weeks.

    There were other ‘scores’,such as ‘z scores’ which could have been provided.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to sam Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.