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Fight against COVID-19 likely triggered a rise in deaths from other diseases: British expert
The British economist drew attention to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic in his country is accompanied by a decrease in the number of hospital visits and, at the same time, an increase in mortality. The reasons for the alarming statistics vary.
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Perhaps the fight against COVID-19 has a downside, negative side - an increase in the number of deaths from other diseases. This opinion was expressed by renowned economist John Appleby, Principal Investigator at the Nuffield Trust, which plays an important role in the management of health care in the UK. His article was published in The BMJ.
Appleby writes that some of the numbers drawn from UK statistics may be alarming. On the one hand, the number of admissions to British hospitals in March 2020 fell by 23% compared with the same figures last year. On the other hand, the number of registered deaths in the week that ended April 10 turned out to be almost 8 thousand more than the average death rate for five years this week.
Deaths from COVID-19 (6213) made a significant contribution to the excess mortality of this April week, but they cannot fully explain this surge. Appleby does not exclude that many cases of "domestic deaths" are also associated with coronavirus - unrecorded cases of infection.
There is a possibility that many people do not seek help in order not to overwhelm hospitals or for fear of contracting COVID-19. Now it is impossible to accurately judge the reasons for the decrease in the workload of hospitals. But Appleby is expressing concern that people who denied themselves hospital visits during this period will or will die soon, in the coming months.
“It now seems impossible to properly assess the concern about the broader health impact of current interventions. These data are incomplete, too vague, they change too quickly, so now it is impossible to draw reliable conclusions,”the expert writes.