Third of ‘coronavirus victims’ in July and August truly died from Other causes, Oxford United scientists reveal

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Nearly a third of Covid-19 victims recorded in July and August actually died from other causes, researchers at Oxford United have found.

About 30% of coronavirus deaths died primarily from other conditions, according to the team’s surprising analysis.

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The researchers found that anyone who suffered a heart attack or died in a car accident may have been included in the Bureau of National Statistics figures if they had tested positive for the respiratory disease.

People may also have been recorded as victims of Covid if doctors believed the virus was exacerbating an underlying disease.

In July and August, the disease was not actually the leading cause of death in 28.8% of all recorded coronavirus deaths.

That figure is 7.8% since the pandemic began earlier this year, reports the Telegraph.

It comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) said deaths should not be recorded as being linked to Covid if the virus is not causing death even though it appears to be an “important condition”.

The Oxford University team uncovered the numbers after comparing recorded deaths where Covid was not the primary cause with ONS data.

They fear that the overcoverage problem will worsen as more people contract the coronavirus.

Dr Jason Oke, of the Center of Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford, said people die “with” the disease rather than “from” it.

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Almost a third of all coronavirus deaths in the UK in July and August were not actually caused by Covid, researchers have foundCredit: Mercury Press

He said: “At the start of the epidemic we only saw this in a few cases, but it is increasing because many more people have now had Covid.

“The actual death rate is an important thing to know because it gives us an idea of ​​the impact.

“The impact now appears to be diminishing, and if this is true – which it certainly looks like at the moment, as there does not appear to be the same death rate – then this will guide decisions in risk management, it is therefore important to get this number correctly. “

The Oxford team had previously found that Public Health England (PHE) incorrectly counted deaths based on whether the victims had already tested positive.

The discovery led Health Secretary Matt Hancock to order a review of the data, which reduced the UK death toll from 5,377 to 41,329.

Now, only deaths occurring within 28 days of a positive test are recorded in the death toll, which currently stands at 41,732.

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