COVID-19 : a study raises a possible overestimation of the number of deaths in England

COVID-19 : une étude soulève une possible surestimation du nombre de morts en Angleterre

LONDON | And if the balance sheet for the british COVID-19 was less high than it seems? The british government has called Friday an “urgent review” of the way in which are recorded the deaths of the coronavirus, after the publication of a study suggesting a possible overvaluation.

With 45, 000 deaths, the United Kingdom is the country most hard hit in Europe by the new coronavirus, and the management of the crisis by the conservative government of Boris Johnson is roundly criticized.

The hare has been lifted by the university of Oxford, in a study entitled “Why no one can ever heal the COVID-19 in England – a statistical anomaly”.

Depending on the method used by the health authorities in england (Public Health England – PHE), “a patient who has been tested positive, but was treated successfully and was able to leave the hospital, would be counted as a death of the Covid, even if he has had a heart attack or be crushed by a bus three months later.”

The Health minister Matt Hancock “has asked Public Health England to conduct an urgent review of the way statistics are of deaths are reported, in order to bring more clarity on the number of deaths related to the COVID-19”, announced the ministry in a press release.

When a patient dies, the central register for the NHS, the public health service to the british warned. The list of all the confirmed cases is reviewed each day to check whether patients are dead.

“PHE does not seem to take account of the date of the test result COVID or the fact that the person has been treated successfully and released from the hospital. Any person who has tested positive for Covid, but which subsequently died, whatever the cause, is included in the figures of deaths COVID PHE”, raises the study.

It stresses that it is time to “repair this statistical error leads to a surexagération of deaths associated with the COVID” and is proposing to retain the death outside the hospital environment that would occur within 21 days of a positive test.

The authors of the publication emphasize, however, that it has not been the subject of an evaluation by a reading committee.

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