Two thirds of spike in care home deaths not with Covid-19. What’s really killing people?

What’s actually killing people? That’s the question raised by the latest ONS report on overall deaths in England and Wales. The report for week 15 (4-10 April) shows that the number of deaths in care homes has doubled since pre-crisis, from 2,471 in week 11 to 4,927 in week 15, but only 826 of those deaths are Covid-19 related according to the death certificate. That’s only a third (33.6 per cent) of the extra deaths in care homes. So two thirds of the week 15 spike in care home deaths are from non-Covid causes (and that’s assuming all the ‘Covid-19 deaths’ are accurately labelled by doctors and actually from and not just with the virus, on which more below).

From Canada comes the terrible story of a care home where the residents were abandoned by frightened carers and 31 died. In Germany and Italy there have been reports of care homes where residents are dying ‘with Covid-19’ but without any symptoms, potentially from stress or neglect.

In addition, there’s a week 15 spike in deaths at home in England and Wales from 2,725 pre-crisis in week 11 to 4,117 in week 15. But of these additional deaths, only 330 or 24 per cent are connected to Covid-19 on the death certificate, meaning more than three quarters of the week 15 spike in deaths at home were unrelated to Covid-19.

When you add this to the fact that of the Covid-19 deaths in week 15 only 38 per cent (2,333 out of 6,213) were connected with pneumonia (down from 42 per cent in week 14), meaning nearly two thirds of ‘Covid-19 deaths’ in week 15 were not reported as from pneumonia and therefore potentially with rather than from the virus, a very worrying picture starts to emerge. How many are dying as a result not of the virus but of the panic, fear, social distancing and all it brings with it? Is it even more than are actually dying of the virus itself? These are some serious questions that need to be answered.

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