EU says Britain does NOT see a downward trend in coronavirus outbreaks

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England had the worst excessive mortality rate in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an EU surveillance project.

Excessive death rates show how many more people have died than one would expect for the time of year.

The figures are taken as an index of the number of “hidden” coronavirus deaths, the official figures being almost certainly incomplete.

Many countries have seen an increase in the number of deaths during the pandemic, but figures collected by the EU-supported EuroMOMO database show that England performs worse than Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or any other European country.

This graph shows the excessive mortality rate of ten European countries calculated by the EU-supported surveillance project EuroMOMO, with England in the lead. Figures are for week 16, which ended on April 19

This graph shows the excessive mortality rate of ten European countries calculated by the EU-supported surveillance project EuroMOMO, with England in the lead. Figures are for week 16, which ended on April 19

How do they know which countries have had the greatest number of excess deaths?

Excessive death rates show how many more people have died than one would expect for the time of year.

The figures are taken as an index of the number of “hidden” coronavirus deaths, the official figures being almost certainly incomplete.

EuroMOMO does not provide a real number of excessive weekly deaths recorded in each country.

Instead, it assigns a so-called Z-score, showing the deviation from an average of five years of death for each nation.

EuroMOMO assigns a so-called Z-score to all the countries in its database, showing the deviation from an average of five years of death.

England’s Z score peaked at 44.1, according to the monitoring plan, Spain in second place with 34.7.

The other three UK countries had a much lower Z score, with Wales peaking at 19.3, Scotland at 17.3 and Northern Ireland at 8.5.

EuroMOMO does not provide an actual number of excess deaths, but separate figures have shown around 12,000 more deaths than usual in the UK.

England was also the only country watched with a “substantial increase” in excess mortality for the 15 to 64 age group, according to preliminary data.

Excessive deaths include deaths from other causes that may nonetheless be linked to the pandemic, such as victims of stroke or heart attack whose treatment has been delayed due to an overworked health system.

Epidemiologists say these statistics help build a more complete picture, as many deaths go unreported when there is an exponential surge in a short period of time.

The excessive deaths in the current pandemic likely reflect the broad impact of the coronavirus, said Lasse Vestergaard, the project’s chief physician.

EuroMOMO assigns a so-called Z-score to all the countries in its database, showing the deviation from an average of five years of death. Map shows how different countries recorded different Z scores in week 16, which ended on April 19

EuroMOMO assigns a so-called Z-score to all the countries in its database, showing the deviation from an average of five years of death. Map shows how different countries recorded different Z scores during week 16, which ended on April 19

Graphs show how England recorded a consistently high number of excessive deaths for several weeks, unlike other European countries which saw rates drop much faster after peaking

Graphs show how England recorded a consistently high number of excessive deaths for several weeks, unlike other European countries which saw rates fall much faster after peaking

This graph shows the daily number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK. It has reached a minimum of 229 in five weeks today, but separate figures show a high number of excess deaths in England

This graph shows the daily number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK. It has reached a minimum of 229 in five weeks today, but separate figures show a high number of excess deaths in England

Andrea Ammon (photo), head of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), said today that Britain is not yet seeing a slowdown in cases.

Andrea Ammon (photo), head of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), said today that Britain has yet to see a slowdown in cases.

The EU chief disease officer today announced gloomy news, saying that the UK has yet to see a downward trend in the pandemic – contradicting Boris Johnson.

Andrea Ammon said Britain is one of five European countries along with Poland, Romania, Sweden and Bulgaria where the epidemic is not yet back.

Ammon, head of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said Britain has seen “no substantial changes” in the past 14 days.

Speaking to EU lawmakers, she said the same was true for Poland, Romania and Sweden, while Bulgaria still saw an increase in cases.

The UK recorded 28,675 coronavirus deaths, and the current increase of 229 was the smallest since March 29.

However, Britain is just a few hundred dead from Italy’s count, which is the worst in Europe and the second in Europe after the United States.

The Prime Minister said Thursday that Britain was “on the downward slope” and “was coming to the end of the first phase” of the crisis.

Comparing the virus to an “invisible attacker,” Johnson said, “This is the time when we started to fight it together on the ground.”

Welcoming Britain’s “apparent success” during the six-week lockdown, he said that Britain had “defied predictions” by avoiding “collapse” in the NHS.

The PM himself returned to work last week after an alarming fear of the virus, which saw him spend three nights in intensive care at St Thomas Hospital.

Boris Johnson (pictured outside number 10 last week) said Thursday that Britain is 'starting to turn the tide' against the epidemic

Boris Johnson (pictured outside number 10 last week) said Thursday that Britain “is beginning to turn the tide” against the epidemic

Last month, Austrian Health Minister Rudi Anschober described the British infection rate as “scary” compared to other European countries like his.

At the same time, WHO’s European director Hans Kluge said Britain’s high numbers had “tempered” otherwise positive signs on the continent.

Apart from the five countries mentioned, all other European countries have seen a decline in the number of cases, said ECDC chief Ammon.

“As of Saturday, it looks like the first wave of transmission has reached its peak,” she said in a virtual meeting.

However, she warned that “it will not end any time soon and that people need to mentally prepare for it.”

Ammon said “this virus will not go away until we have a vaccine” and warns “we must not let our guard down”.

The ECDC monitors the 27 EU member countries as well as Great Britain, Norway, Liechtenstein and the island.

More than 1.1 million cases were recorded Monday in these 31 European countries. More than 136,000 have died, according to the ECDC.

Unclear cases, low screening rates and pressure on health care systems mean that the real scale of the pandemic is likely to be much greater.

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