According to a new study published in the Lancet, Britain’s Covid death toll – as measured by excess deaths per 100,000 – is far from being the worst in the world or indeed the worst in Europe. MailOnline has more.
Britain’s pandemic death rate compares far more favourably with other nations than previously thought, a study reveals.
The U.K. ranks roughly in the middle of a global league table of excess death rates, coming 102nd out of 191 countries and territories.
Previously, countries have been judged by Covid death rates alone, which relies on infections being accurately recorded.
These would place Britain at 168 – or 24th worst.
Critics of the Government’s pandemic response have cited the U.K.’s poor position as justification for tougher restrictions.
But research by the U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Britain performs better when assessed against a fairer standard.
It found Britain had an excess death rate of 126.8 per 100,000, which is very close to the global average of 120 per 100,000, with France on 124.4 and Germany on 120.5.
Sweden, which did not lock down, had one of the best excess death rates in Europe, coming in at 65, with 91.2 per 100,000.
Excess deaths are the difference between the number of recorded deaths from all causes and the number expected based on past trends.
Some deaths would have been caused directly as a result of Covid infection and others as an indirect consequence, such as disruption to healthcare.
Experts believe excess deaths are a better indicator of the true scale of the pandemic because they discount those who would have died anyway.
Other findings in the Lancet study are:
- Sweden did not fare any worse than its Nordic neighbours, with the exception of Norway.
- There is no correlation between the stringency of Covid restrictions and excess deaths (see chart below)
Worth reading in full.