Nearly 3,000 more Brits die every week, and it’s not Covid-19 that’s to blame
Troubled by national statistics showing 20% more deaths per week, British MPs have demanded an investigation, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday. Unlike the last time excess deaths reached such high levels, during the second wave of Covid-19, few of those deaths could be attributed to the virus.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Conservative MP Esther McVey accused Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty of blaming the spike in excess non-Covid deaths on “patients not receiving statins or blood pressure medications during the pandemicpointing out that the monthly figures for statin prescriptions had remained constant.
“Where is the evidence ? And if there are none, what is causing these excess deaths?” she asked, claiming the minister “commit to an urgent and thorough investigation into the matter.”
Shadow Labor Public Health Minister Andrew Gwynne described Health Secretary Steve Barclay as “half man, half ostrichon its refusal to confront the issue, accusing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government of “denial and dismissal of responsibility.”
“There were 50,000 more deaths than we would otherwise expect in 2022he said in the House of Commons on Tuesday. “Excluding the pandemic, this is the worst figure since 1951.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, 2,837 more people died in the second week of January than normal in England and Wales, with just 5% of those deaths attributable to Covid-19.e
The last time excess deaths were this high, in the second week of February 2021, Covid-19 deaths accounted for 37% of the total. The statistic isn’t an outlier either – the last two weeks of December saw 21% and 20% excess deaths.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has reported that up to 500 people a week die because they cannot receive emergency care in time. According to NHS data, a record 54,532 people waited more than 12 hours in emergency departments to actually be admitted to hospital once the decision was made to admit them, and only 65% of patients were seen within four hours.
Last month, Whitty warned that “postponement of elective and semi-elective care and screening“due to NHS lockdowns and delays would lead to another wave of deaths after Covid-19 largely subsided, with undiagnosed cancers and other chronic conditions claiming higher than usual death tolls.
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