uk hospital covid
© Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror
Paramedics and nursing staff in protective gear outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital (Image: Paramedics and nursing staff in protective gear outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital
Up to 10 percent of coronavirus deaths recorded in England will be chalked off due to an error in counting, it has been claimed.

Public Health England currently includes all fatalities of anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19, regardless of whether their death is related to the disease.

Scientists noticed the error as early as July, leading to an urgent review, with some deaths on the official count happening months after someone was infected.


Comment: This seems a tad extreme of a move to be considered a simple "error."


The mishap means all of England's 265,000 confirmed cases would in time be included on the toll, regardless of the circumstances around someone's death.

The numbers will be reconfigured so deaths are only counted if a person dies within 28 days of testing positive - like in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Comment: And even that will be misleading. Someone can get a mild case of Covid and die of other causes within 28 days.


While a second weekly measure, recording deaths within 60 days will also be set up - with an announcement expected this week, reports The Sun.

As many as 4,170 deaths could be wiped off the count which currently stands at 41,686.

Professor Carl Heneghan, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, said the move is "a sensible decision" because "at the moment, the figures are just confusing".

"All it does is muddy the water. While deaths are falling in Scotland, PHE data suggests matters are worse in England," he told The Sun.

"The 28 day measure lets you know the impact the virus is having on our health care system over the previous month and we can respond accordingly," he added.

The UK's coronavirus death toll yesterday rose by 65 to 46,364.

There had also been 892 further cases of the virus officially recorded in 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 307,184.

The rise in deaths is 18 fewer than the 83 recorded across the UK seven days ago, as deaths continue to slowly decline.


Comment: As they do for every virus. This means lockdowns should be lifted. It's over.


But the number of infections is up on the 763 reported this time last week fuelling concerns that the virus is bubbling up again in a number of towns.

It comes after the number of deaths in hospital yesterday was 15 - a smaller increase than last Wednesday when 19 hospital deaths were recorded.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman declined to say when any change might be announced.

He said: "The Health Secretary has asked Public Health England to conduct an urgent review into the reporting of deaths statistics, aimed at providing greater clarity on the number of fatalities related to Covid-19 as we move past the peak of the virus."