Helen Whately admits coronavirus care home deaths going up as death toll ‘must be higher’

The Conservative MP outlined on the BBC that the figure of 1,043 deaths in care homes that has been produced by the Office for National Statistics is lower than the actual figure due to a time lag in the data. Ms Whately stated data that will be published next week will give a more accurate and timely picture of the real death toll in British care homes. 


Ms Whately said: “I am really worried about the deaths in care homes and while we are seeing a levelling off of the deaths in hospitals I don’t think we are seeing that in care homes.

“I think we are seeing the numbers go up, that is why a huge amount of work is going on to support care homes and prevent outbreaks of COVID in care homes.

“At the moment the ONS reported yesterday a figure of 1,043 people that died in care homes.

“There is a time lag on their data and I am afraid that I know the numbers most be higher than that.

“We are working to be able to publish data next week that will show a more accurate and timely picture.”

The coronavirus death toll figures are not giving the “full story” because of an undercount of about 25 percent according to Sky News.

Sky News’ Ed Conway analysed the reported figure of COVID-19 deaths on April 10th, 8,958 and contrasted it with the official figure death toll from the same day 11, 413.

Mr Conway said:  “This chart shows you death tolls in various countries around the world.


“It is a logarithmic chart so the steeper these lines are the faster these death tolls have been raising.

“I have always been frustrated by this because there is a bit of an undercount going on.

“These aren’t telling you the full story.”

He continued: “These numbers just show you the number of people that are dying from COVID-19 in hospital.

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If you look back on the 10th of April we were told by the Government back that then that in hospitals 8, 958 people had died of COVID-19.

“Now we know according to these new statistics that actually the real death toll around then was 11,413, these are deaths from across the UK for all settings.

“It represents a 28 percent undercount and if you spread that out over the following weeks, you are talking about us having a death toll of around 22,000 deaths.

“Those official numbers aren’t telling you the full story.”

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