Deaths in Scotland registered and published by the National Records of Scotland (18th May 2023) continue to show a drop in deaths involving Covid.
- The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 19 of 2023 (8th to 14th May) was 1,081 (4 or 0.4% below the 5-year average). There was a public holiday on 8th May which is likely to have affected the figures.
- As of 14th May 2023, there have been a total of 17,599 deaths registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate.
- In week 19 there were 30 deaths involving COVID-19 (15 fewer than the previous week)
Those figures in more detail:
Deaths involving Covid as at 8th May 2023
Age 45 – 64: 5 deaths, 2 female, 3 male
Age 65 – 74: 4 deaths, 2 female, 2 male
Age 75 – 84: 10 deaths, 4 female, 5 male
Age 85+ : 11 deaths, 4 female, 7 male
There were 2 deaths in Care Homes, 2 at Home/Non Institutional Setting, and 26 deaths in Hospital.
Of the 30 deaths involving Covid, Covid was the underlying cause in 19 of them.
There were 1,081 deaths due to all causes, 4 under the 5 year average. However, these numbers may be affected by the Public Holiday.
Exercising caution when interpreting the data presented is essential. We know that testing has been scaled back to extremely low levels, in many areas it may be practically absent. Data is therefore missing and it is obvious that one can only interpret what is actually there.
Not just my personal opinion… WHO’s weekly epidemiological bulletin is stating this clearly (the latest bulletin from today can be downloaded here: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19—18-may-2023)
Figure 4 is quite an eye opener. It shows the now very low and still steadily decreasing proportion of countries that continue to report hospitalisations and ICU admissions to the WHO.
It is no surprise that the WHO states ‘…caution must be taken when interpreting these data as several factors influence the counts presented, with variable underestimation of true case and death incidences…’
In last week’s bulleting the WHO also stated: ‘With the declining trends of testing and sequencing globally, the impact of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants on disease severity remains unclear. Although there are currently no reported laboratory or country reports indicating an association between VOIs/VUMs and increased disease severity, low and unrepresentative levels of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance
continue to pose challenges in adequately assessing the SARS-CoV-2 variant landscape.’
Whilst Covid-19 ‘no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)’ what happens now is from the WHO’s perspective a ‘transition to the longterm management of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
This should convince the biggest sceptics that we still have an ongoing pandemic which should still be managed.
Management is normally not to simply ignore the problem and pretend all risk is gone. That’s unfortunately what many governments (including the Scottish and UK) do. The already visible consequences are a burden of chronic illness in the population which translates into economical problems and so forth.
But these are not the only issues: Given that not everywhere on the globe vaccine coverage was comprehensive, problematic variants could still develop and travel the planet in a short time.
I would argue that the more we scale back monitoring and throw caution in the wind, the more likely it is that this happens before we will have developed a type of universal vaccine…