Are the Government massaging the death rate.

#1
Nick Watt on Newsnight reported last night that the Government were changing the way they are releasing and compiling the figures. He is saying that the Department of Health said they need to have the permission of the family of those who have died before they can add to the figures. Why do they need that they are not releasing names.

Reminds me of the Tory Government during Thatcher/Major years. They changed the way they calculated the unemployment figures 64 times and not once with the differing formulas did the unemployment figure go up.

 

bear66

Well-known member
#2
So my thread wondering why the numbers weren't released earlier yesterday was a valid question and not a "conspiracy theory".

I can't see any reason why a number can't be disclosed just as deaths in all other circumstances are.

One other thing about the numbers is that the only ones counted are those that have been tested positive, so those that die outside of a hospital are not included.
 
#4
So my thread wondering why the numbers weren't released earlier yesterday was a valid question and not a "conspiracy theory".

I can't see any reason why a number can't be disclosed just as deaths in all other circumstances are.

One other thing about the numbers is that the only ones counted are those that have been tested positive, so those that die outside of a hospital are not included.
I’ve noticed that the last couple of days that the figures were released and then when up a couple of hours later. So maybe they have decided to wait until all figures are in.
I think I read that the uk tests for coronavirus in the post-mortems but some countries don’t like Germany.
 

bear66

Well-known member
#5
If the Newsnight video above is right, they are changing the methodology.

The Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh figures for the 24 hours up until 9am this morning are published already.
 
#6
I know for a fact that more people have died of it round here than what is reported in the figures, but don’t know if individual trusts are attributing deaths to other factors in some cases, as there have been competing health issues.
 
#7
If the Newsnight video above is right, they are changing the methodology.

The Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh figures for the 24 hours up until 9am this morning are published already.
A lot of countries figures update through out the day. Spain’s update 2-3 times a day has the different regions release the figures.
If the government was doctoring the figures the guardian would be all over it.
 

bear66

Well-known member
#8
All of our figures are for 9am every 24 hours and have been since the start. Wales, NI and Scotland get their figures out by 1pm for that timeframe. Yesterday NHS England said there would be s delay at 6pm for the English figures. Newsnight seem to have uncovered why.

The announcement just before 9pm last night:

As of 9am on 25 March 2020, a total of 97,019 people have been tested, of which 87,490 were confirmed negative and 9,529 were confirmed positive. 463 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
 
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#9
I can't see any reason why a number can't be disclosed just as deaths in all other circumstances are.
I posted in the other thread, the only reason I can think of would be data protection regulations.

Whilst that isn’t an issue at an aggregated level, they also release death statistics by individual NHS trust. If those individual NHS trust numbers are very small, there is a risk that someone could identify the patients involved, hence the need to gain permission.

For example, say you lived in Small Town and local people had heard that Mrs Old had Covid-19 and was being treated in the local hospital. If the NHS Trust then announces that one patient has died from Covid-19, there’s a very real risk that the public could work out who that was.
 

bear66

Well-known member
#10
I posted in the other thread, the only reason I can think of would be data protection regulations.

Whilst that isn’t an issue at an aggregated level, they also release death statistics by individual NHS trust. If those individual NHS trust numbers are very small, there is a risk that someone could identify the patients involved, hence the need to gain permission.

For example, say you lived in Small Town and local people had heard that Mrs Old had Covid-19 and was being treated in the local hospital. If the NHS Trust then announces that one patient has died from Covid-19, there’s a very real risk that the public could work out who that was.
That sounds a possibility but the usual wording for actually naming people who have died of accidents/terrorism etc. is that relatives have been told, not asked permission. This is a step away from that, unless the authorities believe that surviving relatives may be stigmatised and your argument that a process of identification is possible.
 
#11
That sounds a possibility but the usual wording for actually naming people who have died of accidents/terrorism etc. is that relatives have been told, not asked permission. This is a step away from that, unless the authorities believe that surviving relatives may be stigmatised and your argument that a process of identification is possible.
Sorry, should have explained. My job involves the use of official statistics and data protection is always an issue when dealing with small numbers.

You’re not allowed to publish anything that might identify any individual, even if that information doesn’t name them. I think it’s just the way the public sector is wired.

For example, you can access stats on lone parents, gender, people claiming Universal Credit, those without formal qualifications, children with a statement of educational needs, etc. However, you wouldn’t be allowed to report the number of people with all of those characteristics at a local level, as there’s a risk you might be identifying Tracy from down the street.
 
#19
None of the figures presented by any government are 100% accurate. Confirmed cases is certainly not comparable because of the different criteria used to test. Even the death numbers may be off base, because some countries are not taking Covid-19 as the cause of death if the person died of some other complication brought about by having the virus. I believe Germany may fall into that class. Who's to say they're not right? If someone is on their last legs anyway, they could have died with or without the virus.

And as yet no one knows the actual death rate because no one has an anti-body test that can be used across a large enough sample group to determine the actual number of infected. Hopefully the UK will be one of the first to market in the next couple of weeks. It will make a big difference to how the epidemic is handled.

South Korean has done more testing per capita, but there's some question about accuracy of their tests. Either way, the mortality rate was around 1%. But even their numbers may not include asymptomatic individuals, so 1% may be too high.
 
#20
br14 you are absoloutely right, if even 20% of the british population has had the virus then we are much further through the epedemic than we think at the moment. I don't think that is the case, to be honest, but if it were it would change the dynamic, strategy and conclusions drawn from the infection, mortality and recovery rate.
 
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