Coronavirus: England had highest number of excess deaths in Europe amid pandemic, ONS figures confirm

The UK as a whole still records the highest number of daily deaths from coronavirus in Europe.

England had the highest number of excess deaths out of any country in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

In new data published today, the ONS said the fact that England had one of the highest peak deaths of any country meant England had “the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Officials also noted the relative length of England’s outbreak, and how much more widely the virus spread there compared with other European nations.

England had the highest number of excess deaths out of any country in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Across the globe, only Spain suffered a higher number of peak deaths from coronavirus than England.

But, the statistics body said, as Spain’s outbreak was shorter, England was still worse affected overall.

The number of excess deaths in a country is a measure of how many more people that usual died in a given period.

The ONS said measuring excess deaths is the "best way of comparing the mortality impact internationally".

Birmingham had the highest peak of any major British city, with 249.7 per cent excess mortality. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Read More
Inverclyde coronavirus cluster: Amazon warehouse worker tests positive

This method "avoids the problem of different countries recording COVID-19 deaths in different ways,” it said, “and also takes into account the indirect impact of the pandemic, such as deaths from other causes that might be related to delayed access to healthcare.”

The UK as a whole still records the highest number of daily deaths from coronavirus in Europe.

It was slower than most EU countries to impose a lockdown in March, despite having advanced warning of the spread of the virus in mainland Europe.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In contrast with other countries, the ONS stats show that coronavirus was more widespread across the UK.

Every local authority reported excess deaths during the peak of the virus.

Birmingham had the highest peak of any major British city, with 249.7 per cent excess mortality.

"What we've seen in Italy and Spain, which were the other countries really heavily affected by Covid-19, was that they had a very localised pandemic,” the ONS’s Ben Humberstone told the BBC.

“So the impact in the regions of northern Italy and central Spain were much higher than anything we've seen in the UK - but in the UK it was much wider spread.

“So we saw excess deaths from Cornwall to Shetland and everywhere in between.

“Although the UK at the peak of the pandemic didn't see the highest peak of deaths, the pandemic and its effects did last slightly longer in the UK which pushed up that total number of deaths,” he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.