Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Coronavirus statistical update: UK heads towards highest death toll in Europe

As the coronavirus works its way towards peak effect, HOT is providing a regular update of the statistics for our region and the country provided by the public health authorities and other official sources. Latest figures show that the UK is heading towards the highest death toll in Europe. Text by Russell Hall, who also prepared the graphics, and Nick Terdre.

The greatest number of deaths worldwide has occurred in the US, with 63,851 to date – earlier this week the total surpassed the 58,220 US military personnel who died in the 20 years of the Vietnam war.

That is more than twice as many as in any other country.

Then come several European countries: Italy with 27,967, just ahead of the UK with 26,771. Since the UK started reporting all deaths rather than just those in hospitals, the rate of increase has quickened, and the country now looks likely to end up with the largest death toll in Europe. It is already ahead of Spain, with 24,543, and France, 24,376 (figures from John Hoskins University in the US).

The number of deaths in Europe vary a lot. Towards the lower end are Germany with 6,623, the Netherlands 4,893, Sweden 2,653, Ireland 1,232, Portugal 1,007, Poland 651, Austria 589, Denmark 460, Finland 218, Norway 210, Greece 140, Bosnia and Herzegovina 69 and Bulgaria 66.

People are recovering

With the number of people who have now recovered from confirmed Covid-19 infections globally numbering over 1 million, East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust reported that by last week 65 Covid-19 patients had been discharged from its Conquest, Eastbourne District General, and Bexhill hospitals since the pandemic began.

Care home outbreaks

Across the 765 care homes in Sussex a quarter have had coronavirus outbreaks. There have also been outbreaks in two of the 66 care homes in Hastings, the fourth lowest percentage of all 317 English local authority areas at 3%, while in Rother  eight of 72 homes (11.1%) have suffered an outbreak (source: Public Health England).

Last week saw over a thousand new acute respiratory outbreaks in England, of which 47% were due to Covid-19. Of the confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks, 97% were in care homes – further evidence that the elderly are more susceptible to the disease (source: Public Health England).

Deaths by area

For this year to 17 April Hastings has seen a total of 64 deaths due to all causes in hospital and 59 in care homes. Of these there were only six deaths attributed to Covid-19, five in hospital and one in a hospice – the week to 17 April saw a doubling of the number of Hastings Covid-19 deaths, which previously stood at three (source: Office of National Statistics).

Hastings experienced the joint eighth lowest number of Covid-19 deaths out of 346 English and Welsh local authority areas for this year to 17 April.

Of all deaths in a single local authority area Hastings has had the fifth lowest percentage of deaths due to Covid-19, at 3.4%. In English and Welsh local authority areas these range from a high of 51.4% in the London borough of Brent (326 Covid-19 deaths) to no Covid-19 deaths at all so far on the Isles of Scilly.

Excess deaths

For the week ending 17 April in England and Wales 22,351 deaths were registered with 11,854 of these being above the average number for the same week across the past five years, known as “excess deaths”. Of these excess deaths 76% (9,009) were due to Covid-19 but the other 26% were recorded as due to other causes (source: ONS).

The above chart shows a range of statistics which can be accessed by clicking on the menu button and choosing which series you want to see. Under East Sussex total Covid-19 hospital deaths, for example, we can see that on 29 April these stood at 61, and switching to East Sussex daily new Covid-19 hospital deaths we can see that up to 29 April, the last to be recorded were three on 26 April.

Notable in the Data Dashboard are the 122,347 tests carried out on 30 April, a remarkable 50% increase on the previous day, which enabled health secretary Matt Hancock to claim that he had achieved his self-imposed 100,000 target. More on this in our next report.


A number of caveats need to be borne in mind regarding the PHE statistics:

  1. Cumulative case numbers include people who have recovered.
  2. With respect to testing, cases are reported when lab tests are completed, which may be a few days after initial testing.
  3. Testing capacity is increasing, resulting in a greater number of observed cases.
  4. Testing capacity constraints mean there are likely many more cases than currently recorded here.
  5. Deaths recorded by Public Health England include only those in hospital and exclude those in the community and care homes.
  6. There is a delay in many deaths being recorded from a few days to up to two weeks.
  7. Deaths tend to be recorded around three weeks after first symptoms in fatal cases.

Posted 21:42 Friday, May 1, 2020 In: Covid-19


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Keith Piggott

    The figures show East Sussex is getting off lightly, still devasting for families. As a teen in the 1950s I contracted ‘Asian Flu’ and was laid low by its fevers. Now I fear this new Corona virus will mutate and evolve, like ‘Spanish Flu’, to become more virulent -COVID-20/21- to dog mankind by re-circling the earth like a Mexican wave. At the end of WW1 two of my great uncles, who had survived both trenches and gassing, succumbed to ‘Spanish Flu’ that took 100 million lives Worldwide. Government nor NHS dares to alarm the public, led to belive a few weeks imposed isolation will break the pandemic and return us to normality. I suggest that is a folorn hope. Lockdown is a foretaste of a probable future! The only certainty is humans could loose tenure of the planet to a viral organism, we all must postpone that event by even longer isolations.

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Monday, May 4, 2020 @ 02:40

  2. Jenny

    Thank you so these data dashboards. Very useful and appreciated

    Comment by Jenny — Sunday, May 3, 2020 @ 17:44

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