UK coronavirus live: England had highest levels of excess deaths in Europe in first half of 2020, ONS says

Government looking at raising period from seven to 10 days amid rise in Covid-19 cases

In an interview with BBC News earlier Ben Humberstone, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS, said that the picture presented by its report into excess deaths in Europe was “really complex”. He explained:

The pattern is really complex. What we’ve seen, for example in Italy and Spain, which were the other countries really heavily affected by Covid-19, was that they had a very localised pandemic, so the impact in the regions of northern Italy and central Spain was much higher than anything that we saw in the UK. But in the UK it was much wider spread. So we saw excess deaths from Cornwall to Shetland, and everywhere in-between.

Although the UK, at the peak of the pandemic, didn’t see the highest rate of deaths, the pandemic and the effect on excess deaths did last slightly longer in the UK, which pushed up that total number of deaths.

It is important to note that the pandemic isn’t over yet, and we’ll continue doing this analysis to see what happens. What we’ve seen in the UK, for example, over the last few weeks are rates of deaths below what we would normally see in these weeks of the year, and so that will have an impact and bring figures into line.

Here are two charts from Sky’s Ed Conway on the ONS report into excess deaths in Europe.

The UK had one of the very worst #COVID19 outbreaks in Europe. Look at England alone and it was the very worst. Nothing very surprising in these latest @ONS data on mortality but that doesn’t make it any less depressing https://t.co/09XiAfulTJ pic.twitter.com/vNx4TkgU9t

As of mid-2020 no other European country had higher cumulative excess mortality than the UK. Worth noting Spain’s cumulative excess mortality was briefly even higher than the UK’s peak. Even so, a horrible chart that underlines the scale of destruction left by #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/cysJMe5z5D

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