Invisible death toll of coronavirus during the first wave of the world

By the end of May, an estimated 385,000 people had died as a direct result of the coronavirus as deadly infections swept the world.

However, researchers have found that the total loss of life was much higher.

A new study by Imperial College London has resulted in 206,000 unreported deaths in 19 European countries, not just Australia and New Zealand.

Spain, England and Wales are the most devastated countries, killing nearly 100 people per 100,000. An increase of 37% in England and Wales and 38% in Spain compared to levels without a pandemic.

Hundreds of people opposed the blockade rules in Melbourne in early October. Photo: AAP

Hamish McCarran, a professor at Griffith University, said important papers help resolve the controversy over whether people die “with coronavirus” or “with coronavirus” and instead capture the overall impact. I am.

“You can avoid this problem by using’excessive death’to estimate the effects of a pandemic,” he says.

“The idea is to compare the death toll from all causes this year with the death toll from the same month in the last few years. The difference between the two numbers is’excessive death’. “

“If COVID causes many deaths, it will manifest itself as excessive death, even if it has not been diagnosed or the death is due to other factors.”

This study does not identify why there are such significant differences between similar countries, but the authors speculate that it is associated with three broad areas that urgently require further study. I will.

Author of the report published in Nature medicine He writes that the timing, duration, and severity of the blockade period played a central role.

“Mainly because delayed or ineffective partial blockades could not limit the spread of the virus, resulting in an exponential increase in the number of infected people and ultimately a higher mortality rate. “

“Also, the scope and availability of tests, and the effectiveness of contact tracking and quarantine, may have contributed significantly to overall mortality.

Second, the differences in public health effectiveness vary widely from country to country, despite similar levels of funding.

And finally, the authors suggested that limiting the number of infected individuals led to timely initiation of the blockade and reduced COVID-19 mortality.

However, be careful.

“The blockade definitely has serious short-term and long-term adverse effects, including psychological and economic adverse effects,” the author writes.

“Lockdown strategies need to be a last resort mechanism and can be significantly avoided or significantly reduced if effective testing, tracing, and quarantine measures are in place.”

Invisible death toll of coronavirus during the first wave of the world

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