Weekly England, UK COVID Update – 20th Jan 2021

2 min read


The COVID+ Insights Dashboard updated with the latest weeks ONS data 👇🏼

Bit of an eye chart here, so feel free to go to the dashboard where you can view each of these graphs in detail – link in comment below 👇🏼

🤏🏼 As ONS have rightly stated, there is a data issue resulting from the Xmas period due bank holidays compounded by with the unique situation of lockdowns and strong guidance to isolate.

➕ Then there is the experimental vaccine(s) deployment, lockdown/restrictions -induced health decline, the handicapped NHS due to COVID operating procedures, and the SARS CoV2 endemic pressure – yet more unique circumstances that MUST be factored into Total Mortality analysis.

Oh, and there is one other thing…

2020 is a 53 week reporting year for ONS. As such, it throws a big spanner in the works when calculating averages and excess:-

1️⃣ They replicated the low 5YR average of W52 for W53 as there is no viable average to use.

2️⃣ They are using W1 numbers for what is really W2. Week two averages are a fair bit higher. This offset will occur throughout the year.

3️⃣ The last time this happened was 2015. Week 2 saw 16,257 for E&W. Clearly everything goes a little wonky. Understandable – but does throw into question using 5YR avg. 

🤷🏻‍♂️ …perhaps a 10YR average age-standardised rate would be more appropriate epidemiological reference point for assessing excess mortality….

England COVID Graphical Update - 20th Jan 2021


🔹 Look at UK data vs Sweden data – both raw and normalised. A sizeable divergence…. 🤔

  👉🏼 Previously, with no lockdowns etc and now following a similar level of authoritarianism, the COVID death path pattern has been in lockstep (yet less damaging in Sweden).

🔹 Look at Pneumonia rates spike up too – have all ILI’s disappeared, or are they being re-badged?

🔹 When will this non-COVID excess death situation at home be taken seriously? Now standing at 38K(!) since March…

🔹 Care Homes continue to be doing alright, all things considered. This is arguably the most infirm cohort, yet they have only seen a total excess mortality of 1,200 so far this winter (Dec onwards).

🔹 Please help make sense of the Deaths per Positive Test graph! Again, this completely defies logic – whereas Sweden’s graph looks closer to reality (more so once lagging data comes in).

🔹 We are arguably in the deadliest and most infectious month of the year for respiratory infections. Combine that with the “super transmissible new variants”, what the *bleep* is happening to the positivity rate?! 🤷🏻‍♂️

🔹We’ve been in lockdowns and restrictive tiering since November. What is going on with this scatter graph of Positivity results?

  👉🏼 This Positivity rate seems to be benefiting from the huge push for asymptomatic Lateral Flow rapid tests that seem much less alarmist than PCR. 

🔹 Just look at how many rapid tests have been used in Kent, Liverpool, Hampshire, Essex etc. These numbers were tiny a couple of weeks ago.

🔹 This is change in positivity is reflected in the negative case change rates per local area/district.

England COVID Local Area Update - 20th Jan 2021

🏥 Thurs/Fri we will update the NHS Trusts data that releases Thursday evening.

Let us know how you interpret this data in the comments below 👇🏼




ONS (19th Jan) and PHE & FHM (20th Jan)

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