COVID death figures that led to costly lockdowns and national panic may have been completely wrong, a study claims.
UK health and statistics authorities allegedly used 14 inconsistent ways to define fatalities.
Covid death figures that led to costly lockdowns and national panic may have been completely wrong, according to a study
UK health and statistics authorities allegedly used 14 inconsistent ways to define fatalities
Many who died early in the pandemic were never actually tested for the virus while others may have died from something else entirely, according to experts.
Professor Carl Heneghan, from Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said: “We still have no idea how many people died with or from Covid.
“Some of those counted as a Covid fatality may never have had the virus.
“The accuracy of this data is vitally important because it led to lockdowns and restrictions which had huge socio-economic costs.
“If the death toll has been wrong all along, it will lead to a lack of trust among the public.
“And if we don’t fix these issues, there’s a chance there will be calls for further lockdowns and restrictions.”
Prof Heneghan claimed death toll data led to “an explosion of fear mongering” online which has scared people into submission for two years.
He added: “Very few people have thought, ‘Let’s just check the accuracy’. People have become uncritical, but we have seen policies on the back of this panic.
“I would like to know why, two years in, the Government isn’t doing more to fix this issue.”
The Oxford study, from 800 freedom of information requests, found some deaths were attributed to Covid just because a care home provider said so and coronavirus was rife.
Many care homes failed to mention any underlying health conditions.
The report stated: “At the beginning of the pandemic, Public Health England linked data on positive cases to the NHS central register of patients who died.
“This definition meant that a patient who tested positive would be counted as a Covid death even if they were run over by a bus several months later.”
Fourth jab soon
A FOURTH Covid jab could be rolled out to extra age groups later in the year, Boris Johnson hinted.
The PM yesterday told Tory delegates in Blackpool: “I hope you’ve all had your boosters. We’re getting ready for a fourth jab, because we’re going to need it.”
It comes as 600,000 over-75s and other vulnerable groups this week become eligible to book their fourth vaccination, with five million in total to be covered.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has previously suggested a fourth jab for other age groups — and a fifth for the over-75s — could be ready for the autumn.