Health

Englands death rate worst in Europe during coronavirus pandemic, according to UK stats body

LONDON — England had the highest levels of excess deaths of any country in Europe from January to June, according to a new analysis of continent-wide data by its Office for National Statistics.

While Spain saw the worst weekly spike in deaths from all causes during the coronavirus pandemic, England had the “longest continuous period of excess mortality,” the ONS said.

Their analysis looked at all-cause mortality from 29 European countries, an approach which the stats body said overcomes difficulties in making national comparisons because of differing methods of recording COVID-19 deaths and also takes into account the “indirect impact of the pandemic” such as deaths caused by delays to healthcare. Data for the entire period was not available for all 29 countries.

Boris Johnsons government, which faced criticism over its coronavirus response in the early days of the pandemic, has frequently warned against international comparisons, after previous analyses also suggested that the U.K. has been among the worst-hit countries in Europe.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first half of 2020 saw extraordinary increases in mortality rates across countries in Western Europe” — ONS demographer Edward Morgan

The new statistics give one of the clearest pictures yet of how different countries have fared during the pandemic. It demonstrates that while the most devastating short-term and localized spikes in COVID-19 and other deaths were seen in Spain and Italy, England and the rest of the U.K. endured a longer period with significantly increased excess mortality.

By the end of May, England had the highest cumulative mortality rate of any of the 23 countries for which data was available, followed by Spain, Scotland and Belgium.

The worst local spike in Europe was in Bergamo, Italy in the week ending March 20, where an excess mortality rate of 847 percent — or more than nine times the 2015 to 2019 average — was seen. The major city with the worst spike was Madrid, with excess mortality of 432 percent in the week ending March 27.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first half of 2020 saw extraordinary increases in mortality rates across countries in Western Europe above the 2015 to 2019 average,” said ONS demographer Edward Morgan.

“While none of the four U.K. natioRead More – Source