By Malcolm Kendrick, doctor and author who works as a GP in the National Health Service in England. His blog can be read here and his book, 'Doctoring Data – How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense,' is available here.
This week we were told that, in the UK at least, anyone who has had a positive Covid test and who then died – from any illness – would be recorded as a coronavirus-related death. No matter when they die.
This means that someone could have tested positive in March, with no symptoms of Covid at all, and who then died in July, would be recorded in the official figures, as having died of Covid-related causes. Even if they were hit by a bus.
Even more weird is the fact that there does not seem to be any time limit to this. So, you could test positive in March 2020, then die in March 2040, and still be recorded as having died of Covid. I doubt this will happen, but it could. To be honest, I have known something very strange has been going on with the UK data for some time. The UK has not provided any figures on how many people have recovered from Covid-19. In almost all countries, figures are provided on the total number of cases, the total number of deaths, the number of active cases and the number who have recovered. In the US for example, there have been almost four million cases, over 140,000 deaths and over a million people have officially recovered. In the UK, there have been nearly 300,000 cases, 45,000 deaths – and no recorded recoveries. In short, in the UK, you cannot ever recover from Covid. Once you’ve got it, that’s it, you’ve got it. This anomaly has been reported-on before. Here, for instance, from The Guardian in June. Covid-19 vaccine ‘may never’ be found, warns UK Vaccine Taskforce chief ‘Britain is an outlier internationally in not reporting the number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 alongside statistics on deaths and numbers of identified cases.’