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John Burn-Murdoch+ Your Authors @jburnmurdoch Stories, stats & scatterplots for @FinancialTimes | Daily updates of the coronavirus trajectory tracker | [email protected] | #dataviz May. 06, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

NEW: we’ve updated our excess mortality tracker, the gold-standard measure for Covid deaths, allowing like-for-like comparisons btwn countries

UK had 43,000 more deaths than usual in March & April vs 22,000 reported Covid deaths at the time

Free to read: 

We’ve also added lots of new data for the worst-hit cities and regions in the world

• We now have high-quality weekly data for Manaus and other Brazilian cities
• We’ve added Istanbul, the epicentre of Turkey’s outbreak
• Fresh data in Jakarta shows thousands of excess deaths

We now have excess mortality data for all UK countries & regions including Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Deaths in March & April were:
• 64% higher than usual in England
• +55% in Scotland
• +41% in Wales
• +30% in Northern Ireland 

And in the US, we’ve added more states as new excess death data comes through.

The US was already on 26,500 excess deaths by April 11. That was relatively early in US outbreak, and this number will rise substantially as data for subsequent weeks is processed.

Overall across the 21 countries for which we have excess mortality data, we find 182,000 excess during recent weeks.

This is 64% higher than the number of Covid deaths reported in these countries at the time.

Data for all countries: 

There’s been a lot of talk lately about UK having Europe’s highest death toll.

The only definitive answer on this will come from excess mortality.

Right now, it’s impossible to say whether UK is the worst in Europe, as Italy has only published excess deaths data for March.

One other metric for whether a country handled its Covid crisis well is how many regions suffer bad outbreaks.

Here’s Italy’s data at region level, sorted north to south.

Lombardy was hit very hard, and two other northern regions saw excess deaths of 50% or more

Here’s the UK.

7 regions have excess deaths above 50%.

The utility of the "how many regions" measure is that it shows whether a country managed to contain its outbreak in one broad area, as Italy & China did.

Bad outbreaks in multiple regions suggest action was taken too late.

Finally, some notes on the data here:

1) The fact that excess deaths are higher than reported Covid deaths is not evidence of deliberate underreporting by governments.

It’s very hard to count these deaths in real time. No country with a bad outbreak has managed it.

2) In the UK, @NickStripe_ONS and the @ONS team are doing a fantastic job on this. UK all-cause deaths data has one of the shortest delays of any country.

Germany and Italy for example lag by over a month, and many countries don’t publish this data at all.

Please point me to more all-cause deaths data.

India & Mexico are our top targets, but any country is appreciated.

Ideally daily, weekly or monthly data, for multiple years, and including 2020. Can be for one town or city, not just nationally.

📦➡ [email protected] 🙏

You can follow @jburnmurdoch.


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