Monitoring and Interpreting Excess Mortality Statistics
Bulletin 59 | John Roberts
The focus on understanding the extent to which the pandemic has affected different countries has thrown a spotlight on the concept of excess mortality. However, care is needed when interpreting the data and results to ensure that an objective view is obtained as to what is being seen in the data.
A recent ONS paper provided an excellent overview of the situation across Europe. The report concludes that in the first phase of the pandemic the UK fared worst in terms of overall mortality, although Spain had the highest weekly peak. Although the report doesn’t conjecture as to why it might be, the fact that the UK’s decline from the peak appears to have been considerably slower than other badly hit countries must surely be a point for discussion in understanding how our response differed, and the lessons we can learn as we manage ongoing phases of the pandemic.