Why The Gov’s Covid Numbers Don’t Add Up

The gov has attempted to explain why the figures recorded in its Covid death figures don’t seem to be consistent.

A report published last week listed three Covid deaths in mid-August which have only just been confirmed as Covid related.

The gov said it ‘recognises the concerns raised and has investigated the circumstances of the small number of deaths which have been beyond the sight of the dashboard’.

It further added that consideration is being given as to how reporting of all COVID-19 related deaths can be made clearer in the future. The gov has recently been criticised by some for no longer announcing Covid deaths with a formal statement. However others have praised the move saying it is part of society living with the virus and likened it to announcing all deaths from cancer.

A gov spokesman said: ‘Government is aware that this figure is at variance with that recorded on the dashboard for the same period. This is due to the time lag in COVID-19 being confirmed as a factor on the death notification. Government acknowledges the difference between the dashboard, which reports hospital deaths and those outside the hospital, and the surveillance report which is based on death registrations where COVID-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate.’

The island’s Director of Public Health Dr Henrietta Ewart added: ‘A time delay may arise in reporting COVID-19 as a prime or contributory cause of an individual’s death, for instance where the Coroner is informed and further investigation is required. Among these are deaths at home, including where the patient has one or more pre-existing conditions. While these deaths will be subsequently included in the surveillance report, they may not have featured in reporting before that time. 

‘Public Health’s weekly surveillance report provides access to a range of data reflecting the ongoing course of the pandemic in the Isle of Man. There are different approaches to reporting data, and the dashboard has not always recorded deaths which have subsequently been declared as COVID-related and therefore captured in the Public Health surveillance report.’

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