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expert comment on COVID-mention deaths in UK

A comment from Professor Sheila Bird on COVID-mention deaths in the UK in case useful.


Prof Sheila Bird, Formerly Programme Leader, MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, said:

“Tracking COVID-mention deaths by week of occurrence matters. Registration delays are longer in England & Wales than in Scotland. Also, as shown in my tables below, epidemiological week is defined differently north and south of the border.

In the vaccine-era, tables on COVID-mention deaths by week of occurrence should perhaps heed ONS Infection Survey’s prevalence estimates some 2 weeks earlier. Hence, at Scotland’s Alpha peak (during 16 to 22 Dec 2020), 1.91% (95% CI: 1.5% to 2.4%) of the population tested positive for COVID-19; in the Delta-era, 0.22% (95% CI: 0.1% to 0.4%) of the population had COVID during 20 to 26 June 2021 vs 1.76% (1.4% to 2.2%) during 19 to 26 September 2021 with Delta peak (during 16 to 22 October 2021) at 2.56% (95% CI: 2.1% to 3.0%). In the Omicron era, Scotland’s prevalence reached 5.56% (95% CI: 4.9% to 6.3%) during 31December 2021 to 6 January 2022 and counting.

SCOTLAND: Scotland’s peak weekly toll in Wave 1 was 645 versus 490 in Wave 2. Wave 1 in Scotland accounted for 4,200 COVID-mention deaths (nearest 100, but wave 2 for 40% more at 5,900 COVID-mention deaths. Wave 3 for Scotland is shown below from mid-June 2021.”

NB: Mid-term autumn break for Scottish schools was 11-18 October. Four weeks later COVID-mention deaths had decreased dramatically with a precipitate nadir to 44 in the week of 13-19 December 2021 but steady climb thereafter with observed or expected fortnightly doubling at least to the week of 10-16 January 2022. Whether for any longer will be more clearly signalled in a week’s time.

“During Wave 3 to the week ending 12th Dec 2021, Scotland had experienced 2,260 COVID-mention deaths (nearest 10). Thereafter, booster vaccines and Omicron competed to control COVID-related mortality.”



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



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