This short post is a follow up to Graham Checkley’s post. The figures in this comment are for the period up to 10th August 2022, with thanks to Almuth Ernsting for her painstaking research.
Since 9th August 2021, when the Scottish Government abandoned most mitigations against Covid, 5,719 more people have died in Scotland than would be expected from the number of deaths during the pre-pandemic five years (2015-19).
This figure, based on a previous representative five-year average, is known as “excess deaths”.
The figures quoted here are derived from the National Records of Scotland (NRS). The NRS however has included 2021 in its five reference years, despite having excluded 2020, which in our view is illogical and likely to underestimate the number of excess deaths. We have therefore adjusted the NRS figures, basing them on the five pre-pandemic years.
Of the 5,719 excess deaths, 4,918 (86%) were caused by Covid infection only days or a small number of weeks after the infection. This is deeply shocking on its own. But the additional point is that 801 more people died during that period than during the same length of time and the same months of the year before the pandemic. The most likely causes of these deaths are either long-term effects on some people of the Covid virus (“Long Covid”) or depletion of health services as a result of the pandemic, or both.
Furthermore, this situation is getting worse. Since 2nd May this year, when the Scottish Government removed all Covid controls, there have been 1,402 excess deaths, 808 (58%) of these due to acute Covid infection. So it seems that more people are dying now as a result either of long-term health damage from Covid and/or depletion of health services. Even during the week ending 25th July (the most recent week we have figures for) there were 192 excess deaths, only 46% (89) of which were immediately due to acute Covid infection.
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