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03rd Feb 2022

Daily covid death figures to be dropped as ‘we learn to live’ with virus

Kieran Galpin


Those critical of the covid death figures claim they create fear in the general public

The government is reportedly planning to stop daily covid death updates to aid in “learning to live” with the virus.

Daily covid statistics have become a staple in our lives for the best part of two years. They often predated legislation and rule changes – but that could soon be coming to an end, reports the Evening Standard.

Downing Street is planning on axing the updates as soon as mid-April after backbench MPs claimed the updates added to the virus’s “fear factor”.

“The Prime Minister has pencilled in Easter as the latest date by which the daily Covid statistics will be published in their current form,” a senior Whitehall source told the i newspaper. “In an ideal situation he will bring an end to them sooner if the current downward trend in deaths continues.”

Any changes will apply only to England and the Office for National Statistics will continue to give weekly updates.

A spokesman for UKHSA claimed it would keep the public “up-to-date with any future changes to the dashboard and reporting.”

Paul Hunter, professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia, said that the surging number of reinfections since Omicron meant not reporting them was “no longer tenable”.

He continued: “Although the proportion of all infections that are due to reinfection is still relatively small, this proportion is increasing, and we can expect this to grow.

“So far, the addition of reinfections have not much changed estimates of the speed of increase or decrease in the epidemic over recent weeks.

“Fortunately, reinfections are usually, though not always, less severe than primary infections and consequently we can expect the severity of Covid to decrease further as more and more of the daily infections are reinfections.”

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