Professor Carl Heneghan Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and Yoon K Loke carried out an in-dept analysis into the data published by Public Health England (PHE). Apart from revealing a “statistical flaw” in the way that the data has been gathered, their analysis suggests that the increase in confirmed cases could be the result of three interlacing factors:-

i) A significant increase in general testing.
ii) A series of flaws in the data gathering process.
iii) Inconsistencies in the way the data is interpreted.

Two examples should help illustrate the serious errors that have been imbedded in the system. On the 11th of August a little over 1.3 million covid19 tests were removed from the government’s national data set after an error was exposed on double counting.

The second error was discovered by Professor Loke when he highlighted a statistical flaw in the total count on deaths. The flaw centred on the way PHE counted fatalities. If an individual tested positively for Covid 19 was hospitalized and had a full recovery, if that individual subsequently died from a totally unrelated cause –i.e. they were in a car accident- their death would be recorded as a covid related death. Apparently, this counting error occurred because PHE failed to set a time limit to how long you are classified as Covid infected.

This statistical error meant that PHE had overstated the number of confirmed deaths by as much as 5300 deaths.

The Carl Heneghan and Professor Loke data analysis has been the last straw for Public Health England mismanagement of the Covid crisis. The department is in the process of being disbanded and divided among other NHS agencies.

Curiously, the ONS which collects its data differently through surveying a sample of households in England has claimed that for last few months that Covid cases were stable across most of the country.

The falling death rate over the past 8 weeks coupled and the removal of all the double counting should allow one to be cautiously optimistic that while Covid19 is very much alive a major surge does not seem likely in the foreseeable future.