England’s Data

England has changed the way it reports coronavirus deaths.

Daily reported COVID deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the first laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

I am not sure that is entirely correct.  Wales currently has different criteria

Our death figures include any report to PHW of a death in a hospitalised patient or care home resident where Covid-19 has been confirmed with a positive lab test and the clinician suspects this was a causative factoring in the death.

England’s new method is the same as Scotland’s and it definitely makes the current figures look more favourable.  There are arguements for and against

Someone tested positive for covid in March, has been fine since and got knocked down by a bus last week.  He would be recorded as a Covid death in the old rules.Someone tested positive for the virus six weeks ago, has been in hospital since, much of it in on a ventilator but has just finally passed away. He is not recorded as a Covid death in the new rules

The old method exagerated the numbers and the new method does the opposite.These silly situations are what happens when the clinicians are not allowed to make value judgements.

Under the old method folk dying of old age in the future  from dose of covid many years before will be reported as a covid death, so the new method is more accurate, but it would be much more accurate to let the clinician make the call.

Be that as it may, the new method has a marginal effect on the UK’s record from the start of the virus. From the previous post:-

Currently 215 countries are listed in Worldometer.  As regards “highest deaths per million of population” the UK ranks number 4. (now number 6) If we broke the home nations down, England goes to number 3 (now number 4)The other UK nations are still in the top 20.

Of those above England, are tiny San Marino who has had only 1 death since April 26th, and Belgium. Belgium’s current death rate per million is about a quarter of England’s. 

So since the beginning if the virus, the UK in general and England in particular are clearly in the  top rank of worlds worst performers.

BUT most of this is historical, being due to the delay in taking action at the very beginning of the pandemic. The article looks at how England is performing now.

In the early stages of the virus this had no effect. But it makes a huge difference to the latest values.


Here is a  graph trom the July round up page.

And here is the same graph with the new data.

England is not so far behind as we have been led to believe.
With deaths averaging 70 per week and mortality rates at 1.4% that indicates around 5000 new infections per week. We are recording between 5000 and 6000 which correlates.
If we assume that people are infectious for 14 days that indicates we have 70-80,000 infectious people or 133 infectious people per 100,000.

The spread of the virus depends on those people self isolating.