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Actual coronavirus cases in UK could be 24% higher than the official figures

NHS recently revealed that the actual number of deaths from coronavirus may be 24% higher than the reported numbers. Up till March 20th, the number of deaths with COVID-19 as the cause were 210 in England and Wales, however, the recorded cases were actually 170 – significantly less than the official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has started a recent data series to keep track of the number of deaths from COVID-19, whether it was in a care home or the patient’s own house. For the people who recovered from the virus but still passed away, coronavirus was considered a secondary cause. The statistics showed that “only one of the UK’s first 108 coronavirus victims was under the age of 44. 60 per cent of them were men and 93 per cent were aged over 65.”

In the UK, the number of coronavirus cases have risen to 25,150, with 1,789 confirmed deaths. London is the hub of the virus, with the greatest number of cases, followed by West Midlands and the South East. Anyone whose death certificate indicated COVID-19 as the cause, are counted in the statistics.

Also read: Anti-Tuberculosis BCG Injection May Offer Protection from COVID-19  

It recently came to light that the King’s College Hospital in London had three times as many deaths as the official figures stated which raised concerns about the discrepancy. Some people believed that it was a part of the government agenda to keep the panic in control, however, it was probably due to the time it takes to confirm cases and get the family’s consent to release details.

Over the last 10 days, the number of new cases per day has increased significantly. During the given time frame, the fatality rate has risen by almost 10-fold, increasing from 381 to 1789. While the previous statistics were solely dependent on the deaths in the NHS hospitals, new counts will work to cater any death that might occur due to the virus.

To control the increasing number of affected patients and prevent social gatherings, the government has imposed a temporary lock down in some of the major cities. However, the death tolls are expected to increase in the coming weeks – at least up till Easter.

Currently, UK’s figures are lower than some other European nations, including Italy, that faced the worse of the outbreak – with over 105,000 confirmed cases and 12,400 deaths. Globally, however, the total cases have risen to 846,251, with 41,482 deaths.

Also read: UC Berkeley Lab Has Been Converted To COVID-19 Test Processing Center

UK’s government is presently following a three-phase action plan, comprising of – contain, delay and mitigate. The containment phase focuses on tracing and isolating the patient and preventing the symptoms to emerge for as long as possible.

The delay phase, the phase the country is in currently, is more inclined towards reducing the spread of the virus by:

  • Asking people with minor symptoms to self-isolate
  • Limiting large gathering
  • Encouraging work from home
  • Closing down schools and other offices

Lastly, the mitigation phase aims to ensure treatment for the highest priority cases and minimizing its impact on the community. The main course of action will be delaying the non-urgent cases and employing retired medical staff, along with instructing emergency services to cover critical functions only.

Research is also being carried out simultaneously to better understand the virus and develop a vaccine that can help maintain control over the rapidly spreading infection. However, there has been no success as of yet.

According to the government, even if you have no symptoms, you should:

  • Stay at home for the most part of the day, unless you have to get essentials
  • Prevent non-essential contact with others
  • Stop all travel
  • Work at home

Mariyam Tanveer

Recently graduated from LUMS, I now work as Researcher and a Freelance Writer on Ask Health News

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