These figures for non-Covid deaths aren’t accurate

4th Sep 2020

Claim

18 people died of Covid-19 in one day in England.

Conclusion

This is true.

 

1,295 died of a stroke in England in one day.

 

This is likely not true. Stroke death figures in England are closer to 35 people daily.

 

1,852 people died in one day in England from a heart attack.

 

This is likely not true. About 49 people a day die in England of a heart attack.

 

39 people were murdered in one day in England.

 

This is likely untrue. We could find no evidence of a recent mass homicide, and on average two people die of homicide each day in England.

Claim 1 of 4

A Facebook post that makes claims about the number of non-Covid-19 deaths in a single day has been shared over one thousand times.

However, there are numerous inaccuracies with the post. 

Firstly it’s unclear what day these figures are meant to be referring to - the earliest version of the post found by Full Fact comes from the 13 August, but versions of the post in the days and weeks since then continue to use the time phrase “yesterday.” 

The post claims that 18 people died of Covid-19 in one day in England. On 13 August this was the number of deaths reported of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 and died within 28 days. Since then, this figure has generally been decreasing. 

This isn’t the same as the number of people that actually died on that day, the last time there was a day when 18 people died of Covid-19 in England was 17 July.

Also we don’t know how many of these people died of Covid-19 as opposed to with Covid-19, or even after having recovered from it.

It should also be noted that Covid-19 is unusual in terms of death reporting, in that it is reported rapidly. Other causes of death are not typically reported as quickly, so the post’s claim that they knew the number of non-Covid deaths ‘yesterday’ is highly improbable.

The post claims that 1,295 died of a stroke in England in one day. This is very likely incorrect. ONS data shows that in 2019, 12,653 people in England were reported to have died from a stroke, which would average about 35 a day. This is far less than the figure claimed in the post.

The post claims that 1,852 people died in one day in England from a heart attack. This is likely a huge exaggeration. ONS data recorded 18,022 deaths from heart attacks in England in 2019, recorded in data as an “acute myocardial infarction”. This averages as about 49 people a day, again a hugely different figure to the number given in the post.

The post claims that 39 people were murdered in one day in England. Again, this is likely an exaggeration. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the year ending March 2019, there were 661 victims of homicide in England —this definition includes murder, manslaughter, and infanticide. This works out to about two a day. Furthermore, there have not been any recently reported instances in England of mass homicide which could explain such a high number of deaths in one day.