Coronavirus Death Rate

I breakfasted at Cafe Rouge this week. It was half price, thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. I like Cafe Rouge, particularly our local one. It went into administration during the lockdown, but it has been rescued. I’m glad. There are very few French restaurants about. And they do a fabulous Full English.

One of the burning questions of the last six months has been; what is the death rate from the coronavirus? Dividing the global deaths by recorded cases provides a figure of 3.58%. But this isn’t going to be accurate, for numerous reasons. Best guesses have been anything between 0.5% and 1.5%. What we need is a country that has counted fatalities with a reasonable degree of accuracy to then also provide a reasonably accurate estimate of the true number of infections.

We may now have that data. Imperial College London have estimated that approximately 3,400,000 people in the U.K. have been infected with the novel coronavirus. That would mean that the death rate is somewhere between 1.22% and 1.76%, depending upon whether you choose to use the official tally of fatalities or the number of excess mortalities. Perhaps you’ll hedge your bets and pick a number somewhere between the two. Say 1.5%.

Of course, this isn’t a definitive figure. The virus was ‘allowed’ to sweep through care homes in the U.K., which will likely have inflated the number of fatalities compared to a country which saw the virus spread more evenly across age groups.

Still, we have a ball park figure with decent data behind it. There’ll be more data, and the figure will move. But if it wasn’t clear before, and it really should have been, then hopefully it is a little clearer now. It’s not flu.

One thought on “Coronavirus Death Rate

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