Zero Hospital Deaths in English Hospitals Yesterday

Several people tweeted out this graph yesterday, accompanied by the news that zero deaths were recorded by HNS England on August 19th. While that’s true (I checked the NHS England website this morning), it isn’t the first time that’s happened as I’ve reported on Lockdown Sceptics many times before. In the past, the zero figure has subsequently been updated as recorded deaths for the day in question start trickling in. Will be interesting to see if that happens for August 19th, but I suspect it will.

Hospital Admissions Over-Counted

Must-read story in the Telegraph. According to an analysis done by SAGE, people admitted to hospital in March and April were counted as Covid admissions if they’d ever tested positive for the disease, regardless of how much time had elapsed between the test and the admissions and regardless of the actual reason they were being admitted. Science Editor Sarah Knapton has more.

An investigation for the Government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that people were being counted as Covid hospital admissions if they had ever had the virus, and were added to those being admitted directly due to it.

Government figures show that, at the peak of the pandemic in early April, nearly 20,000 people a week were being admitted to hospital with coronavirus (see graph below), but the true figure is unknown because of the problem with over-counting.

The oversight echoes recent problems with the data for Covid-19 deaths, in which it emerged that thousands of people who died of other causes were being included in coronavirus statistics if they had once tested positive.

Professor Graham Medley, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, asked by Sage to look into the situation, told The Telegraph: “By June, it was becoming clear that people were being admitted to hospital for non-Covid reasons who had tested positive many weeks before.

“Consequently, the NHS revised its situation report to accommodate this.”

The investigation led to a readjustment of how the figures were compiled at the beginning of July.

On Thursday night, experts warned that the miscalculation was particularly concerning because the number had been used to reflect the current state of the epidemic.

Professor Carl Heneghan, the director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “The admissions data is a crucial point. I’d say it is more important than the death data because it is the best marker of the impact of the disease.”

Worth reading in full.