According to professor Karol Sikora, the former head of the World Health Organisation’s cancer programme, doctors and medics may have placed COVID-19 as the cause of death too easily. Mr Sikora stated the virus may have been mentioned on the death certificate when there was any hint of the virus as the cause of the death. In contrast, Germany a death can only be recorded following an examination by the clinical team involved in the end of life certificates. Speaking on The Daily Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast, he said: “It could end up that more people have died because of lack of medical care directly caused by the unavailability of it because its facilities have been taken over for COVID-19.
“If we look at the numbers, how many people have really died from COVID-19 that wouldn’t be dead at the end of the year?
“The numbers vary enormously.”
The UK’s current death total stands at 41,128 according to official statistics.
However, in data released by the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s excess death total could be as high as 63,500.
Excess deaths state the deaths above the average over the previous five years.
8.08am update: US records two million infections
The US has now recorded over two million cases, the most in the world according to John Hopkins University.
8.03am update: China reports 11 new cases
China has reported 11 new coronavirus cases although all of those were imported to the country.
This takes the country’s death toll to 4,634 combined with 83,057 confirmed cases.
7.59am update: Mexico death total surpasses 15,000
Mexico’s COVID-19 death total has now reached 15,357 after another 708 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.
There were also 4,833 cases taking the total to 129,184 at the time of writing.
7.52am update: India cases surpasses active infections
The number of cured or discharged COVID-19 patients in India is higher than the actives cases for the first time.
The health ministry said 135,205 people had recovered in comparison to the 133,632 active cases.
7.21am update: “I’m not sure that is the case”
Speaking on The Daily Telegraph’s, ‘Planet Normal’ podcast, professor Karol Sikora stated that by the end of the year, many of those who died during the pandemic may have died during the summer anyway.
While the UK’s death toll stands at 41,128 at the time of writing, Mr Sikora pointed to how medical professionals may have used COVID-19 as the cause of death too readily.
In Germany, COVID-19 is only placed on the end of life certificate when the team involved believes that is what happened.
Considering that, Mr Sikora predicts the death total may possibly be less than half of what has been reported.
He said: “It could end up that more people have died because of lack of medical care directly caused by the unavailability of it, because its facilities have been taken over for COVID-19.
“If we look at the numbers, how many people have really died from Covid that wouldn’t be dead at the end of the year?
“The numbers vary enormously. The current ONS data suggests 60,000 people have died from COVID-19.
“I’m sure that’s not really the case, it’s because of the counting we discussed earlier.
“The reason for that is simply that many of the people, sadly, that would have died in June, July and August, actually died during the peak of the pandemic.”