Explanation of the very low levels of Covid-19 in the notifiable diseases statistics

Richard Bradford made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Public Health England

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Public Health England Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Public Health England,

The weekly PHE published data on cases of notifiable diseases shows just 37 cases of Covid-19 in England and Wales for we 3/1/21. In the preceding seven weeks (from we 15 Nov'20) there were respectively 87, 109, 230, 76, 181, 50, 85 Covid-19 cases. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...).

This compares with published PHE data on Causative Agents which were 123305; 91503; 92402; 114232; 178375; 235250 over the last six weeks of 2020 (https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...). I understand that only a small proportion of instances of infection by the causative agent will result in disease.

My question relates to the apparent disconnect between the above notifiable disease data and the Covid-19 death data published and updated daily by gov.uk (https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/...). In the last eight weeks of 2020 this source indicates the following weekly numbers of deaths with Covid-19 stated on the death certificate: 2839; 3040; 3371; 3160; 3066; 3270; 3587; 3693. These data are around 30 times larger than the published data on notifiable cases of Covid-19. Why?

Similarly, the gov.uk data on the numbers of "Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital" in the four December weeks to 28th were 10340; 12368; 14480; 17175. These data are around 127 times larger than the published data on notifiable cases of Covid-19. Why?

Does PHE have an explanation for these discrepancies?

Yours faithfully,

R.A.W.Bradford

FOI, Public Health England

OFFICIAL
Dear Mr Bradford,

We acknowledge receipt of your email and request for information, which will be treated as a request for information under statutory access legislation.

Please note that requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) will receive a response within 20 working days from the day following the date of receipt of your request.

If the request is for your personal data, your request has been handled as a data subject access request (SAR) under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then we will respond within one month of the receipt of the request.

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for providing guidance and advice to government and front-line services for all aspects of public health. It is a designated Category 1 responder organisation under the Civil Contingency Act and this specifically includes the COVID-19 response, providing clinical expertise and wider public health advice and guidance across national and local government, the NHS and third sector. As such, you may experience delays when making statutory information access requests during the pandemic.

We will aim to address all requests promptly and within the required response timeframes. However when we are unable to meet the response timeframe we will keep requesters updated on a revised expected timescale for a response to their request. The Information Commissioner recognises this position in its recent guidance, see link: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protectio...

Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Amanda Johnstone anodiad ()

Dear Richard

Unsure if you have seen this similar FOI request submitted on 30 November 2020. I think PHE's response will astound you. I have also added an annotation at the end of it that may or may not be helpful.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

If you haven't seen this article then it may be of interest:

https://www.pandata.org/wp-content/uploa...

Regards
Amanda

FOI, Public Health England

1 Atodiad

  • Attachment

    2355 FOI Query reguarding published notifiable disease data and COVID 19 death data.pdf

    105K Download View as HTML

OFFICIAL
Dear Richard Bradford

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your request.

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir