- “Punishing the unvaccinated would be both immoral and unjustified” – There is no reason for the U.K. to go down Europe’s path of compulsory jabs and vaccine passports, says Sherelle Jacobs in the Telegraph.
- “No 10 put all their eggs in vaccine basket in effort to save Christmas” – Changes to cabinet and public mood from last year make further restrictions less likely, says Jessica Elgot in the Guardian.
- “Private hospitals are offered billions to deal with Covid backlog” – “The NHS is seeking to sign new contracts with private hospitals to carry out scans and treatment including cancer care as part of plans to tackle the 5.8 million-strong waiting list,” reports the Times.
- “Theresa May slams Government’s handling of Omicron” – Theresa May said Omicron appeared to lead to less serious illness than other variants and that the U.K. Government should be “learning to live with Covid,” reports MailOnline.
- “Austria throws out its constitution over Covid” – Using the monopolistic power of the state to turn a section of any society into second-class citizens should be roundly rejected, writes Alex Story in the National Review.
- “Don’t leave home if you have the sniffles – it could be Covid, warns expert” – Leading scientist says that “a whole range of symptoms” should be enough to warrant taking a Covid test and being extra careful, reports the Telegraph.
- “U.K. condemned for Covid ‘travel apartheid’” – “Britain’s Covid restrictions, imposed to combat the spread of the Omicron variant, have been condemned as a ‘travel apartheid’ by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the U.K.,” reports RT.
- “The Tories are a menace to liberty” – Lockdown may be over, but the Government is just as authoritarian as ever, writes Paddy Hannam in Spiked.
- “Covid vaccines work against Omicron variant, says scientist” – “The Omicron variant spreads faster and can re-infect people who have previously had the virus but vaccines appear to protect against it, South African scientists said yesterday,” reports the Times.
- “At least 46 ‘VIP lane’ PPE deals awarded before formal due diligence in place” – Two-thirds of contracts awarded before ‘eight-stage process’ was put in place were given out after referrals from ‘VIP Lane,’ reports the Guardian.
- “Downing Street ‘intends’ to hold Christmas party, despite hangover from last year” – Ministers appear to contradict one another over lockdown breach investigations as Downing Street declines to comment on internal review, reports the Telegraph.
- “Italian anti-vaxxer dentist who used a fake arm to get his jab and avoid restrictions is suspended” – “An Italian anti-vaxxer who tried to dodge getting the Covid vaccine by wearing a fake arm has been revealed to be a 57 year-old dentist who has reportedly been suspended from his job,” reports MailOnline.
- “The death of Europe” – Mandatory vaccination spells the violent end of European liberalism, writes Brendan O’Neill in Spiked.
- “Review of A Plague Upon Our House by Scott Atlas” – A new book reveals how the troika of Fauci, Birx, and Redfield hijacked America’s pandemic response, writes John Tierney in City Journal.
- “Greece to fine elderly €100 for every month they remain unvaccinated” – “Greece has announced the first vaccine mandate targeting the elderly portion of the population,” reports GreatGameIndia.
- “Next virus may be more lethal, Covid vaccine inventor Sarah Gilbert warns” – “Another pandemic could prove to be both more contagious and more lethal, one of the inventors of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine warned yesterday,” reports the Times.
- “The new epoch” – “COP26 marked the definitive transition from a national and democratic order to a global and technocratic one,” writes John Mortimer in Bournbrook Magazine.
- “Britain’s hubristic green commissars can’t see the wood for the trees” – Storm Arwen showed the value of gas stoves and diesel, and the folly of our national forestry policy, argues Matt Ridley in the Telegraph.
- “School to change name after founder’s statue dumped in harbour during BLM protests” – “Just over a year after the statue of its founder was toppled amid Black Lives Matter protests, Colston’s School in Bristol has announced it will change its name, despite the public supporting its retention,” reports RT.
- “Durham college head apologises for calling students ‘pathetic’ for staging walkout over Rod Liddle speech” – Professor Tim Luckhurst says he was wrong to criticise the students, reports the Telegraph.
- “Follow the science” – Former Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe speaks to TalkRadio about the need for a “serious debate about the efficacy of masks”.
Since October, New York City has required all public sector workers, such as teachers, police officers, and civil servants, to be vaccinated against Covid, and has recently announced that the mandate will soon extend to all private sector employees. The policy will come into force on December 27th, with Mayor Bill de Blasio calling it a “pre-emptive strike” against a potential winter surge in Covid cases. Metro has the story.
The aggressive, first-of-its-kind measure, is what de Blasio is calling a “pre-emptive strike” to combat the expected surge in Covid cases this winter, as the Delta and Omicron variants create growing cause for concern.
“We in New York City have decided to use a pre-emptive strike, to really do something bold to stop the further growth of Covid and the dangers it’s causing to all of us,” the soon-to-be departing mayor said Monday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.
Vaccination requirement for hospital and nursing home staff as well as city employees, including teachers, police officers and firefighters has been in place since October.
“Omicron is here, and it looks like it’s very transmissible. The timing is horrible with the winter months,” de Blasio said.
“So as of today, we’re going to announce a first-in-the-nation measure. Our health commissioner will announce a vaccine mandate for private sector employers across the board.”
The mayor is expected to provide additional details to the new policy at a 10am briefing.
The policy will take effect on December 27th.
The city’s Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said Monday children were the group most affected currently by breakthrough Covid cases, emphasizing the need to expand protections for vulnerable youth.
The mayor is also broadening the city’s Key to NYC vaccine mandate for city businesses, indoor dining, gyms, theatres and other entertainment venues to now include children ages 5 to 11 years-old. Beginning December 14th, children in that age group will be required to show proof of at least one shot.
According to the mayor’s office about 20% of those children have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine.
De Blasio said he expects the new mandate to survive any legal challenges. A spokesperson for the mayor said the private sector mandate will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses.
Additional guidance will be issued on December 15th, de Blasio said.
Worth reading in full.
From today, all Italians will need to abide by the country’s ‘super green pass’ law, which means that only those who are double jabbed or have recently recovered from Covid are allowed to enter a wide variety of public places, such as restaurants and theatres. Unlike the old ‘green pass’ system, the ‘super green pass’ does not allow for the unvaccinated to provide proof of a negative Covid test, further hindering their right to participate in public life. MailOnline has the story.
Italy has brought in tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people as the holidays draw near, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums to reduce the spread of Covid and encourage the unvaccinated to get their jabs.
Only those who have the ‘super green pass’, which requires Italians to be double jabbed rather than providing a negative Covid test result, will be able to fully participate in public life from Monday.
Italian police will be checking will be checking whether those visiting indoor restaurants, bars, concerts, sports events, theatres and public events, have the ‘super’ green health pass until January 15th.
The restrictions follow a steady rise of Covid cases in Italy for the past six weeks, with 15,021 infections recorded on Sunday, and a concern about the new Omicron variant which is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta strain.
Elsewhere in Europe, leaders have rushed in a raft of new lockdown measures and travel bans amid panic over rising cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant.
Germany has announced it will lock down its unvaccinated citizens and ban them from most public spaces in the run-up to Christmas, while those in France will have to show proof of vaccination to maintain a valid Covid pass which allows them into public venues.
Italy’s vaccination rate is higher than many of its neighbours, at 85% of the eligible population aged 12 years-old and older and 77% of the total population. But people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have proved the most reluctant to get vaccinated, with nearly 3.5 million still not having received their first doses.
They are also the same age group that is now being hardest hit by the virus, according to Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s National Health Institute.
Worth reading in full.
The Justice Secretary has said that school closures during lockdown had put vulnerable and neglected children at a greater risk of harm and abuse. In turn, Dame Rachel de Souza, the current Children’s Commissioner for England, concluded that the system put in place to protect six year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was murdered by his step-mother, was further weakened by the Government’s Covid restrictions, whereas her predecessor, Anne Longfield, mentioned that “very vulnerable children have continued to slip from view” over the course of the pandemic. The Times has the story.
Dame Rachel de Souza said that the voices of children must be listened to following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Arthur was killed in June last year after Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes had submitted him to a “campaign of cruelty” that amounted to torture at their home in Shirley, Solihull. The boy was isolated, abused and forced to eat salt-laced meals before dying from an “unsurvivable brain injury” after being beaten by Tustin.
Tustin was jailed for life at Coventry crown court with a minimum term of 29 years last week for abusing, poisoning and murdering Arthur while his father was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter and abuse. The judge described the case as “one of the most distressing and disturbing” he had experienced.
An independent serious case review is under way into the actions of Solihull council social workers who found “no safeguarding concerns” after visiting Arthur two months before he was killed. Social workers received at least three warnings from family members and teachers.
As the Government confirmed that it would be holding a national review to protect other children, de Souza, the Commissioner for England, said that more had to be done to support social workers to spot similar cases, but the coronavirus lockdown had weakened the system.
She told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “The life of a child is of inestimable value and his voice was not heard and that’s where we need to start.
“Obviously, there’s a serious case review under way and we need to see what that says but we must take decisive action and now.” She said Arthur was not a baby and had raised his concerns but “the system did not hear him”.
“We must listen to the voices of children and, secondly, these reviews and national reviews… tend to make the same recommendations. It’s not a matter of system recommendations, it’s a matter of delivery.”
The national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will lead the review and provide additional support to Solihull Safeguarding Children Partnership to “upgrade” the existing local review that was launched shortly after Arthur’s death.
Worth reading in full.
- “Evidence is insufficient to back mandatory NHS staff vaccination, says House of Lords committee” – “The committee said that the benefit of increasing the protection from vaccinating staff who had not yet taken up offers of the jab ‘may be marginal’,” reports the BMJ.
- “Science and politics” – “The latest decree that everyone must wear face coverings has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics: our leaders need to be seen to be doing something,” argues David Seedhouse in Bournbrook Magazine.
- “Three little words we should use more often” – “Why do people find it so hard to say ‘I don’t know’? Look at the absurd Christmas parties situation we find ourselves in: politicians are tangled up in knots about what advice to give the public,” writes India Knight in the Sunday Times.
- “One in eight Covid hospital patients suffered heart damage” – Fears findings of national studies will mean big increase in demand for already hard-pressed NHS cardiac services, reports the Telegraph.
- “Maskless LeBron triggers debate after saying high school policy makes ‘zero sense’” – “LeBron James has courted further controversy after he opted not to wear a mask while watching his son play in a basketball tournament,” reports RT.
- “U.K. High Court sides with doctor who was fired over Covid narrative scepticism on social media” – The court cited the free speech section of the Human Rights Act of 1998, reports Reclaim The Net.
- “At least three children die, 120 hospitalized by Pfizer vaccine in Vietnam” – “Reported in multiple Vietnamese media including VN Express – yet no mainstream media – 17 of the 120 or so of the adolescents and teens had severe reactions,” reports Trialsite.
- “Will Christmas be cancelled again?” – December 18th is when Boris Johnson must decide whether the Omicron variant will allow a normal Christmas. Even if it does, there could be trouble in the new year, argues Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times.
- “‘Wall of secrecy’ in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering” – U.S. company faces scrutiny over Covid profits after U.K. agrees to secrecy clause, reports the Observer.
- “Vaccine mandates: unscientific, divisive, and enormously costly” – “The Pfizer and Moderna trials show that in lower risk populations (which account for most of society) Covid vaccines do not reduce mortality. Therefore, vaccine mandates, which are enormously costly and terribly divisive, are a cure worse than the disease,” writes Allon Friedman for the Brownstone Institute.
- “World has stockpiled ‘more Covid vaccines than it can use’” – “The world has stockpiled more Covid jabs than it can use, according to the globe’s largest vaccine manufacturer,” reports the Sunday Times.
- “Covid outbreak on U.S. cruise ship despite fully vaccinated passengers” – “Despite every cruise line requiring passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated before boarding, a cruise ship returning from a sail across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea with thousands of passengers onboard detected an outbreak of Covid,” reports ZeroHedge.
- “Covid a pandemic of fear ‘manufactured’ by authorities, says Yale Epidemiologist” – “The Covid pandemic has been one of fear, manufactured by individuals who were in the nominal positions of authority as the virus began to spread across the globe last year, according to Yale Epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch,” reports the Epoch Times.
- “‘Short sighted and ridiculous’ Boris deal could lead to diabetes time bomb – urgent warning” – The decision to push doctors into dropping routine appointments with their patients in favour of boosting the Covid vaccine roll-out has received a furious response from leading health specialists and commentators, reports the Express.
- “The AstraZeneca vaccine’s unlucky few” – Lisa Shaw was one of the tiny proportion of people adversely affected by the Covid jab. Her widower is now calling for better recognition, writes Paul Nuki in the Telegraph.
- “U.S. plans to fast-track revamped Covid vaccines” – “Federal regulators said Sunday that cases have been identified in 16 states and that the Food and Drug Administration is already in conversations about streamlining authorization for revamped vaccines,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
- “Is New Jersey a peek into the future?” – “In what may be a microcosm of things to come, New Jersey lawmakers defied Governor Phil Murphy and insisted upon entering the States’ Assembly chamber without proof of vaccination,” reports Trailsite.
- “Czech Covid restrictions quash Battle of Austerlitz re-enactment” – For a second year running the commemoration for the Battle of Austerlitz in the Czech Republic has been impacted by Covid restrictions, reports Euronews.
- “Why Covid is a disaster for individual freedom” – New public health totalitarianism gives government and officials endless chances for moral blackmail to enforce restrictions, writes David Quinn, who comments on the Republic of Ireland’s draconian Covid restrictions in the Sunday Times.
- “The Turner Prize is now a tool of woke” – Artistic excellence has been sacrificed at the altar of social justice, writes Alex Cameron in Spiked.
- “Spirited away to an Australian quarantine facility” – Australian citizen Hayley Hodgson talks to UnHerdTV about being forcibly taken to the Howards Spring quarantine facility.
In response to the Belgian Government tightening Covid restrictions last Friday, anti-lockdown protesters marched through the streets of Brussels, the nation’s capital. Belgium has become the latest European country to receive this kind of backlash after imposing new Covid measures, with similar anti-lockdown protests occurring in Austria and the Netherlands only yesterday. MailOnline has the story.
Hordes of protesters marched through the streets towards the headquarters of the European Union, shouting ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ and carrying placards which read ‘everyday fascism’ emblazoned with yellow stars, drawing comparisons with the identification tags Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Government on Friday introduced fresh Covid restrictions – the third week in a row that rules have been tightened amid the latest surge in cases.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that nurseries and primary schools will close for the holiday season a week early, and children must now wear masks from the age of 6 years-old. Indoor events will only be allowed with a maximum of 200 people.
Previously, the Government closed nightclubs, and ordered bars and restaurants to shut at 11pm for three weeks.
The main crowd in Sunday’s mostly peaceful march had already dispersed when about 100 protesters ran into a riot police barricade cordoning off access to the European Commission.
After a brief stand-off with police, protesters threw rubbish and other objects, including a bicycle, at police and set off firecrackers and flares.
It comes a day after many cities in Europe saw demonstrations against new restrictions in the run up to Christmas – upwards of 40,000 people held protests in Vienna, Austria, while thousands more piled into the streets of Utrecht in the Netherlands and Frankfurt in Germany.
Austria last month became the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown, which is set to last 20 days, and said it would make vaccinations mandatory from February.
It comes as governments across Europe warn of the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant which has now been registered in several nations including the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Norway…
Meanwhile in Austria, police used pepper spray and made several arrests on Saturday when more than 40,000 people marched through Vienna to protest against a lockdown and plans to make vaccinations compulsory.
Faced with a surge in infections, the government last month made Austria the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown and said it would make vaccinations mandatory from February.
Worth reading in full.
Mark Drakeford has said that a decision on whether to extend the Welsh Government’s vaccine passport scheme to pubs won’t be taken until the last possible moment, with the Welsh First Minister adding that “circumstances and knowledge are developing so fast”. Drakeford also mentioned that imposing vaccine passports on pubs would not have been taken into consideration if the Omicron variant had never emerged. BBC News has the story.
A decision on whether to extend Covid passes to pubs and restaurants will be made at the “last minute”, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Ministers are to consider whether to expand the scheme over the next week, with the next Covid rules review due on Friday.
Drakeford said the emergence of the Omicron variant has led to knowledge and circumstances developing “so fast”.
The first case of Omicron was confirmed in Wales on Friday.
Covid passes are already required for cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and large events in Wales.
They show if someone has been fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid in the past 48 hours.
The Welsh Conservatives have said they remained opposed to Covid passes because they do not seem to present “additional benefits” to stopping Covid.
But the First Minister told Politics Wales he did not think the Welsh Government would be considering extending passes to hospitality if it had only been dealing with the dominant Delta variant.
He said: “We’ve got another week to go. We will learn a lot in that week about the Omicron virus.
“If we were to do it, it would simply be to help those businesses to stay open and still attracting customers through the door because people would feel confident that everybody else in that setting were either vaccinated or had taken a lateral flow test.
“But we haven’t made that decision, and we won’t make that decision right up until the day we have to, because circumstances and knowledge are developing so fast around the new variant that you ought to wait to have the maximum amount of information that you can.”
Sam Rowlands, Conservative Member of the Senedd (MS) for North Wales, said the Government should ensure “every part of our energies” is put in to rolling out booster jabs rather than extending use of the pass.
“With that you could see much better walk-in centres – rapid roll-out of walk-in centres across the country,” he said.
Plaid Cymru deputy leader Sian Gwenllian MS said: “We need to rely on the evidence and listen to what the experts say before bringing in any new regulations but if they are needed, they are needed.”
Drakeford said he could not claim the Covid pass scheme was making a difference “above the fact that it makes that extra marginal difference alongside everything else you do”.
Worth reading in full.
Vaccine advocates in Canada have offered to secretly take children to a vaccination clinic if they desire to be jabbed. A community organiser called Julian Wotherspoon tweeted her support for ignoring parental consent and authority, and her willingness to take anyone aged between 13 to 17 years-old to get vaccinated, despite the recommendation from the health authorities that families should discuss the issue with their children before coming to a firm decision. RT has the story.
The row began on Friday, after a Saskatchewan community organizer named Julian Wotherspoon posted a Twitter message offering to assist any 13 to 17 year-olds who wanted to get vaccinated despite opposition from their parents. “I’m your ride to the clinic,” she said. “If anyone asks, I’m taking you and my kids to a movie. Let’s do this.”
According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, children aged 13 years-old and older “who are able to understand the benefits and possible reactions” of a vaccine do not need a parent’s permission to be jabbed. Equally, teens can refuse immunisation by giving “mature minor” consent to their health provider.
The authorities recommend families discuss the issue together with their children before they make the decision, however.
Wotherspoon’s tweet caused quite a stir online, eliciting both praise and outrage. She has since made her account private.
Another proponent of children’s vaccination, self-described “mummy blogger” Tenille Lafontaine, also of Saskatchewan, called Wotherspoon’s offer “amazing”. She added, “I’ve heard of a few teens getting the vaccine on their own because their parents are insane in the membrane. The kids are gonna be alright. Side note: I’m available to drive anytime.”
Other commenters pushed back, telling the two women to “stay away from other people’s children.” Some went as far as to liken their secret transport offer to kidnapping.
Worth reading in full.
- “U.K. tightens travel rules amid Omicron spread” – Travellers to the U.K. will have to have a negative Covid test before departure, the Government says, reports BBC News.
- “It is dangerously misleading to talk about the ‘war’ against Covid” – Wars come to an end, usually definitively. But the virus is not an enemy that will eventually surrender, writes Janet Daley in the Telegraph.
- “Anti-lockdown protests in York, Austria and the Netherlands” – “Thousands of anti-lockdown protestors have descended on the streets of York, Austria, and the Netherlands as Europe faces up to a new Covid strain,” reports MailOnline.
- “The chilling new ‘advice’ on vaccine heart risk for children” – “It is a clear admission that myocarditis is a serious post-vaccine adverse reaction risk,” says Kathy Gyngell, who investigates the Government’s new document commenting on the link between myocarditis and vaccination in TCW.
- “Covid travel ‘loophole’ allows passengers to reuse PCR test codes” – Thousands of travellers thought to have used the ruse to avoid buying a new PCR test upon arriving in the U.K., reports the Telegraph.
- “The Moronic variant” – Michael Curzon and Luke Perry discuss the hysteria surrounding the Omicron variant and delays to NHS cancer treatment in Bournbrook Magazine’s regular podcast.
- “Thousands facing heart problems due to ‘post-pandemic stress disorder’” – “Up to 300,000 people in the U.K. are facing heart-related illnesses due to post-pandemic stress disorder, two London physicians have warned,” reports Evening Standard.
- “Covid variants don’t warrant restrictions on our freedom” – For good reason, we do not respond with border closures and restrictions on school children every time a new influenza mutation is detected, writes Sunetra Gupta in the Telegraph.
- “All hail Covid” – “What has been witnessed in the last two years is not medical science. It is the death of reason and the birth of a religious cult. The Church of Covid fathered illegitimately by the financial elite and delivered from the womb of governments,” writes the Covid Physician.
- “‘I don’t like mandates’: Germans and Austrians on new Covid measures” – People give their views on compulsory jabs and restrictions on those who have not been vaccinated, reports the Guardian.
- “Don’t let schools cancel Christmas” – The traditional nativity play is being sacrificed in the name of fighting Covid, writes Jordan Tyldesley in Spiked.
- “The scale of the cancer crisis is nothing short of catastrophic” – Every missed diagnosis is a grandfather, a mother, a friend, a colleague. As a society, we have let them down, argues Professor Karol Sikora in the Telegraph.
- “Should Big Pharma be destroyed?” – “You can change the system, change the incentives, encourage the behaviour you want, without smashing the system entirely,” says Tom Chivers, who imagines how the pharmaceutical industry can better serve the needs of the people in UnHerd.
- “‘The cancer legacy could be worse than the damage caused by Covid’” – The U.K. is facing a ‘cancer catastrophe’, after huge numbers of referrals were missed during lockdown, reports the Telegraph.
- “The Covid testing regime comes to the pub league” – “I know the league has taken a precaution, but there’s always room for it to go horribly wrong,” says Luke Perry, who writes about the unintended consequences of his local pub darts league recommending that all players get tested in Bullseyes and Booze.
- “Nevada becomes first state to impose surcharge on unvaccinated workers” – “Nevada on Thursday became the first U.S. state to impose a surcharge on workers who have not gotten a Covid vaccine, though the penalty doesn’t take effect until the middle of next year,” reports the Epoch Times.
- “In boycotting white-owned shops, Black Lives Matter insults the spirit of Christmas” – BLM’s ‘Black Xmas’ campaign reveals everything wrong with the organisation, argues Calvin Robinson in the Telegraph.
- “John McWhorter on why woke ideas harm minority communities” – John McWhorter and Yascha Mounk discuss whether ‘wokeness’ is a religion and how it affects black Americans in the Persuasion podcast.
- “Jo Phoenix, academic likened to racist for her trans views, resigns from Open University” – “An academic who faced abuse from colleagues over her transgender views has quit the Open University,” reports the Times.
- “Woke activists, take note: there is no public appetite for erasing British history” – The people of Sheffield can see that changing street names is both a senseless and a pointless endeavour, writes David Abulafia in the Telegraph.
- “The tyranny of ‘behavioural science’” – Laura Dodsworth speaks to GB News about the Government’s use of ‘nudge’ tactics to enforce lockdown restrictions: “Behavioural scientists are quite emboldened by their success in the epidemic of using behavioural science techniques such as fear and shaming.”
A special bonus video of Boris getting his Booster jab. Enjoy.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that 22,000 excess deaths have occurred in England and Wales since the beginning of July, with 56% of the total figure (roughly 12,000) being linked to Covid. However, in some parts of England, Covid has been held responsible for causing only one in five excess deaths, with the Head of Mortality Analysis at the ONS saying that “health service disruption” may have played a key role in bringing this about. The Telegraph has the story.
As few as one in five excess deaths in parts of England can be attributed to Covid, official figures show.
Since the start of July, 22,542 more deaths than usual for this time of year have been recorded across England and Wales.
Of these deaths just 12,551, about 56%, have been linked to coronavirus, according to the ONS.
However, this figure drops to 19% in West Berkshire, where just 17 of the 90 excess deaths listed Covid as an underlying cause.
Other areas, mainly in the South West and South East of England, have seen just one in three deaths above average linked to Covid, including Somerset, Torbay, Dorset and Herefordshire.
In previous waves, almost all excess deaths could broadly be explained by Covid.
Some 59,324 excess deaths were recorded between March 13th and June 20th last year. In 81% of these, Covid was an underlying cause.
And between September 4th and March 5th this year, there were more Covid deaths than excess deaths. This trend was due to lockdowns offsetting other illnesses common over the winter, including flu.
The reverse in this trend in this most recent wave comes as England and Wales saw its 87th consecutive week of excess deaths in the home.
Since the start of the pandemic, over 78,000 more people than usual have died in a private residence, contributing to more than half of the 125,494 excess deaths recorded across all settings.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, says reasons for this may include “health service disruption” or “people staying at home rather than being admitted to other settings for end-of-life care”.
Worth reading in full.