What is behind the increase of non-Covid related deaths?

The latest data on weekly deaths in England and Wales, published today by the Office of National Statistics, show what could be the beginning of a disturbing trend. From mid-June to mid-July, the number of excess deaths has been running at below the five-year average. But for the second week running, that has reversed: in the week ending 21 August there were 9,631 deaths, 474 higher (5.2 per cent) than the five-year average for this week of the year. The rise does not appear to have been caused by any increase in deaths from Covid-19, however. On the contrary, there were just 138 deaths for which the death certificate mentioned

How Covid spread in Sweden’s care homes

Why did Covid prove so lethal in care homes? Between 2 March and 12 June, there were 66,112 deaths of care home residents in England. Of these, 19,394 ‘involved’ Covid (in the Office of National Statistics’s own terminology) – 29.3 per cent of the total. As has been apparent from the beginning of this crisis, the risk of dying of Covid-19 sharply rises with age, so in that sense it is not surprising for deaths among care home residents to be high – but why has it proved so difficult to protect residents from the disease, not just in Britain but in many countries? It simply isn’t possible to isolate

Is Bernie Ecclestone the world’s oldest father?

Game on A few things which are still going on, in spite of coronavirus: — Football in Belarus, where the 2020 season recently began. Choice fixture over the weekend is Sunday’s clash between league-leaders FC Minsk and BATE. — Practice games in Sweden’s 5th and 6th divisions are going ahead as gatherings of fewer than 50 people are still allowed. Fifth division Skabersjo IF, who last week played sixth division Vastra Ingelstad, aren’t allowed their usual supporters, however – last season they had an average gate of 70. — Bets were still being taken last week for the Setka Cup, a table tennis competition in Moscow, and for Taipei’s Super