No (statistical) recoveryWhy No One Can Ever Recover from COVID-19 in England

Published 24 July 2020

One reason why the number of COVID-19-related deaths in England is consistently higher than in neighboring Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland is due to a statistical flaw in the way that PHE compiles ‘out of hospital’ deaths data. Yoon K Loke and Carl Heneghan write in The Spectator that by PHE (Public Health England) definition, no one with COVID in England is allowed to ever recover from their illness. A patient who has tested positive, but successfully treated and discharged from hospital, will still be counted as a COVID death, even if they had a heart attack or were run over by a bus three months later. “It’s time to fix this statistical flaw that leads to an over-exaggeration of COVID-associated deaths,” they write. “One reasonable approach would be to define community COVID-related deaths as those that occurred within 21 days of a COVID positive test result.”