The number of excess coronavirus deaths has plateaued but that is no cause for any celebration

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As the Guardian has reported:

The Office for National Statistics has just published its latest weekly death figures. Here are are the main points.

  • There were 21,997 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 24 April. That is 11,539 more than the average for this time of year, but a decrease of 354 on the previous week.
  • Some 37.4% of deaths in that week involved coronavirus (in that it was mentioned on the death certificate).
  • The number of deaths in care homes (from all causes) was 7,911, up 595 on the previous week. That was almost as high as the of deaths in hospitals, which was 8,243, down 1,191 on the previous week.

Maybe, then, excess deaths have plateaued for the time being. This was what I expected. But there is no sign of a fall as yet. In that case, we can expect 1,700 death a day for a while as yet. Or more than two jumbo jets a day.

That is not a definition of success.

And it is a sure sign that the UK (or rather, England) remains an outlier on this issue, largely because unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it does not have an integrated care system.

Nor is it a sign that suggests that people will willingly come out of lockdown any time soon.

This crisis is ongoing and the disastrous management that the government has made of it will continue to be at the forefront of public attention, and rightly so.

If other countries - and more geographically isolatable locations, like the UK, in particular - managed this better than the UK did then the questions rightly remain.