UK has highest coronavirus death rate: analysis

A sign displaying advice on social distancing is displayed at the beach in Weston-super-Mare, south west England on May 27, 2020. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 28 May 2020

UK has highest coronavirus death rate: analysis

  • Britain has registered almost 60,000 more deaths than usual since the week ending March 20
  • Britain has Europe’s highest death toll from the pandemic

LONDON: Britain has suffered the highest death rate from the coronavirus among the most-affected countries with comparable tracking data, according to Financial Times research published Thursday.
Official numbers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released earlier this week show Britain has registered almost 60,000 more deaths than usual since the week ending March 20.
Subsequent analysis by the FT, which looked at data from 19 countries, indicate the virus has directly or indirectly killed 891 people per million in the UK, the highest comparable figure.
According to this measure, the UK death rate exceeds those in other countries also badly affected by the pandemic, including the US, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Counting how many people died above a running average for the previous five years is considered by many experts to be the best way to give international comparisons, due to a lack of uniformity in the way countries collect data.
Britain has Europe’s highest death toll from the pandemic, with more than 46,000 fatalities attributed to the virus by mid-May, according to ONS figures.
The government, whose separate tally of deaths confirmed by a positive test now stands at 37,460, has faced sustained criticism over its handling of the crisis.
According to the latest AFP tally, published Thursday, the coronavirus death toll in Europe has now passed 175,000, making it the worst affected continent.
In addition, Italy — which does not count most deaths in care homes or the community — has officially suffered 33,072 deaths, France 28,596 and Spain 27,118.
The US topped 100,000 fatalities on Wednesday and the global number of deaths now stands at more than 355,000.


HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Updated 10 August 2020

HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

  • Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.
Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.
Police did not immediately comment.
Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.