PHOTO PHOTO: People are seen on a retail street amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in Windsor, UK, August 5, 2020. REUTERS / Toby Melville
(Reuters) ̵1; The official daily death toll in the UK COVID-19 could be removed following an inquiry into the UK Public Health method of counting the number, the Telegraph reported.
The findings of the investigation, which were commissioned by Health Secretary Matt Hancock after officials who were “exaggerating” the death of the virus emerged, are expected this week, the newspaper said.
One recommendation could be to transfer to an official weekly death toll, on the contrary, a government source told the Telegraph.
Britain stopped its daily update of the death toll last month and the government ordered a review of how Public Health England reports coronavirus deaths, after academics said the daily figures could include people who died from other causes.
Academics in a blog post had warned that the way the government health agency calculates the figures, as patients who tested positive for coronavirus but were successfully treated would still be counted as dying from the virus “even if they had a heart attack or were crossed by bus three months later.
England’s death rates vary significantly from day to day because of this reason, academics argued.
In contrast, other parts of the UK do not follow the same approach. There is a 28-day discontinuity threshold in Scotland following a positive test, after which a patient is not automatically considered to have died from the virus.
Britain, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, its highest daily increase since June, bringing the total number of cases to 310,000.
Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Edited by Daniel Wallis