A couple of puzzles in the ONS deaths series which is by death certificate compared to PHE which is "within 28 days of a positive test".

1. Why has the ONS trend diverged so much from the PHE since Nov (though both are increasing)?

Here are both trends as % of their April peak.
So by 29 Dec, PHE reached about 60% of the April peak, whilst the ONS measure only reached about 40%. Of course both will go up further given the surge in cases, but still a puzzle (to me at least) why they have they diverged so much.
Note the latest ONS figures go up to 1st Jan but I have dropped the last few days as these will be updated. There may be more than usual catch up to come in the registration data over Christmas, but the divergence starts in early November.
Second puzzle: so far, Covid-deaths in England have reached 40% of April peak. Scotland reached 33% (on 20th Dec).

In contrast, Wales got up to 81% (on 21 Dec) of their peak, NI 87% (23 Dec).

Why have Scot & Eng deaths been so much further from their April peak than Wales & NI?
I realise the death certificate data will not reflect the most recent surge in cases and which will presumably push up deaths quite a bit more in Scot, Eng & NI, but not sure that will solve this puzzle.

Any ideas?

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with David Paton

David Paton Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @cricketwyvern

13 Jan
Good question! Of course bad news sells for the media but it seems to be Govt strategy not to focus on any good news at the moment.

Same in April when they were highlighting high reported deaths each day & ignoring that deaths-by-date were showing we had passed the peak.
I get that the Govt is worried if people hear things are improving, they may change their behaviour & spread the virus more.

Personally, I would argue it is far better to treat the public with respect & to provide balanced, accurate information whether good or bad news.
At the moment the balanced message would be that infections are decreasing in most parts of the country (especially London) whilst at the same time many of our hospitals remain under immense pressure.
Read 7 tweets
12 Jan
Data over the past week has utterly demolished the case made last week for the latest national lockdown, i.e. that infections (and subsequently hospitalisations) would not decrease without another full lockdown.
Current indicators show infections were decreasing nationally before lockdown 3, the most dramatic falls being in London, SE & E, but most regions decreasing.

(& let’s be clear: the more promising trends were already becoming evident even when lockdown was announced last week).
You can credibly make a case for Level 4 restrictions on the grounds they were having some effect. FWIW, I don't think there is anything in the data to suggest that, but let's put that to one side for now.
Read 6 tweets
12 Jan
Zoe symptom estimate for England down again today (data up to 8th Jan) & now 13% below recent peak.

All regions except NW below peak: London 28% down, East 20%, SE 16%, NE&Y 9%, Mids 8%, SW 4%.

Given infection-symptom lag, decreases will relate to pre-lockdown infections.
The Zoe estimates have been a pretty reliable early indicator but the decrease is also evident in other indicators: NHS triage, positivity % & positive tests have also all decreased nationally & especially in London, East & South East.
NHS triage data goes to 11 Jan so should pick up at least the start of any effect of schools re-opening to key workers from 4th Jan (+ to nearly all primary pupils for 1 day the 4th). So it is good to see U19 7-day ave falling.

n.b. big thanks to @dontbetyet for the chart.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
Zoe symptom estimate data for England (at 7 Jan) now down 11% from the peak. London is now 25% down. All regions decreasing except SW (3% below peak but still up & down) & NW (increase seems to be levelling off).

Note this still relates to infections in pre-lockdown period.
This is consistent with other indicators: test positivity, positive tests & NHS triage data. e.g. 7-day triage average down 5% from recent peak in England, 11% in London.
Of course hospitalisation data are still a big worry but remember those will lag infections so it will take a bit of time for the decrease in infections to feed through.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
Put to one side for a moment whether or not you believe the current lockdown to be justified. It is simply unconscionable for scientists & politicians to be appearing in the media this weekend calling for even *more* restrictions on the grounds that the lockdown is not working.
First, given the lag from infection to symptoms, we currently have NO data at all to tell us what has happened to infections, hospitalisations or deaths since the lockdown came in.
Second, we now have good evidence that infections nationally are falling. The evidence is particularly strong for London & suggests they are coming down quite fast. Obviously there is a lag before that can show up in hospitalisations and deaths.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
The big news about this NEJM piece is that it’s not really news, being consistent with what we already knew:

when schools are open teachers do not seem to face higher risks relative to other professions whilst school children seem to be at very low risk
To that we can add that the suggestion keeping schools shut is an effective strategy for reducing community transmission is based on evidence that is weak & conflicting.

E.g. see this German study for a counter-example.
In contrast, we know with some certainty that the costs of school closures to education, to child well-being & to the economy are enormously high & affect disadvantaged children most.

e.g voxeu.org/article/long-t… & also this by my colleague @ProfETownsend acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ca…
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!