During the pandemic, Sky News has tracked COVID data in an effort to measure the progress of the virus.
But sometimes statistics do not tell the whole story.
Not long into the first wave, it became clear that the increase in cases was often matched by an increase in deaths after the time interval. Before the increase in deaths, there was an increase in hospitalizations.
At this stage – the Omicron version appears – it has weakened the link between cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Although it is more permeable than Delta, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new strain is “apparently mild”.
While it is still early, a possible trend was discussed by Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, in a recent Twitter post. On 27 December, he posted that the hospitalization figures were higher than meets the eye.
How is the NHS doing at the moment with regard to Omicron and other pressures? New formula based on latest data. Note that we prefer to use the number of COVID-19 patients in a hospital rather than new admissions, as the two days are more up-to-date and better represent the whole picture…1/19
— Chris Hopson (@ChrisCEOHopson) December 27, 2021
There was a 27% increase in the number of patients in the hospital testing positive for COVID in the week to December 27 as compared to the previous week.
But the chief executive officers of the trust had told him that many of the people who were being treated with COVID had actually gone for other reasons and then tested positive after being admitted.
He said it was being described as “emergent COVID” and that at the time, the trusts did not see an increase in the number of patients requiring oxygen therapy or critical care due to COVID.
Trust managers were pointing out, however, that it was necessary to look at the overall level of penetration – including those unrelated to the coronavirus – to see if Omicron was causing major problems.
A total of 11,452 people were in hospital in England with COVID-19 as of 8am on 30 December – an increase of nearly 1,000 on Wednesday.
In the past few years, the real impact of COVID on the health of the health system and people in general has been suggested by data on the number of deaths.
In November, we told how Researchers had calculated that 28 million years were cut from people’s lives By that point pandemics had resulted in the worldwide – a combination of how many years those who had died due to the virus – both directly and indirectly – would have survived if it hadn’t happened.
The ONS has calculated that between 25 and 100% more people were dying during the worst weeks in the UK during the two main COVID waves, from March to May 2020 and January to March 2021.
Some of these may have died in hospital, but others may have died elsewhere, both from COVID and from other causes, potentially partly because the health system was under severe strain.
The average number of weekly deaths goes up and down depending on the time of year.
At the moment, there is no sign of any increase in the number of more deaths.
But the figures for deaths from any cause – which are released weekly by the ONS – go only for the week ending December 17.
In the weeks leading up to that date, while there has been a steady increase in the number of weekly deaths – roughly in line with the 2015-2019 average and around 10-15% – the number of deaths on both COVID on death certificates mentioned has gone. And that’s actually a little bit less in recent weeks, directly because of COVID.
Whether the increasing number of people whose death certificates mention COVID die of co-morbidities is impossible to tell from the weekly data released as the full range of causes of death is not available.
But data on the direct death toll from COVID is available and so far this number has not increased rapidly.
If, as the hospital reckons, many people who register with COVID at the hospital are not coming in because of the illness, but end up with ’emergent COVID’ – a disease that kills them once they are treated. may not – perhaps English and Welsh hospitalizations will not increase the number of deaths that have occurred after twice the increase in hospital cases.
But it is too early to tell without the detailed figures of deaths after December 17.
Chris Hopson concluded by saying that, as the NHS remains under severe pressure, it is too early to tell whether O’Micron can still hit the NHS hard.
He said: “How many CEOs are saying that, based on current evidence, they think the absence of Omicron-related staff may be a greater challenge than the number of Omicron-related critically ill patients they treat.” Have to do it. Several trusts told me today that they are now on point.”
For the last 21 months we can potentially say that when the health care system has been put under pressure either directly or indirectly due to the waves of COVID, there have been more deaths.