Under-40s make up less than one per cent of coronavirus deaths in England – The Sun
FEWER than one per cent of Covid-19 deaths in England’s hospitals has been among people under the age of 40, NHS data reveals.
Experts claim this should send a signal that the blanket lockdown approach should be replaced with a “risk-based policy” so young adults can return to work.
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Just 11 people below the age of 20 have been killed by the bug out of 22,049 confirmed fatalities. And there have been only 155 deaths in the 20 to 39 age bracket — with many of those tragedies coming among people with underlying health conditions.
That equates to just 0.75 per cent of hospital fatalities within the under-40s. Conversely, 52 per cent of those whose deaths are tied to coronavirus have been in the over-80s.
Experts claim this stark data shows why Prime Minster Boris Johnson must let young adults back to work as soon as possible.
The data analysis for England comes as the UK death toll passed 30,000, the first European country to hit the grim milestone. Scientists say the average age of Covid-19 death in UK women is 84 while for men it is 80.
Risk expert Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said a person’s chances of dying from the virus doubles every seven years. He said it is “very unlikely” for younger Brits to be killed by the bug — with only one in 1,000 deaths in under-25s.
Prof Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University, called for age and underlying health problems to be factored in when easing isolation restrictions.
He said: “We have a policy that affects everybody and it needs to be replaced by a risk-based policy. Not just a single group being told to shield but a finer gradation that takes into account individual risk. Only two Covid-19 deaths have been in under-15s. That is roughly one in 10,000.
"There are activities for young children which are much higher risk. For young people — those below 25 — it really needs to be communicated they are in a very, very low-risk category. But we also need to consider other factors, such as underlying health conditions.”
Prof Spiegelhalter said a rough “rule of thumb” is that catching coronavirus doubles the chances of dying over the next 12 months. So the key is to look at a person’s current risk.
He added: “More than ten per cent of over-80s die every year, so a doubling is really serious. But for a seven-year-old, their chances of dying are one in 13,000. So double that is still tiny. Basically, if you’re not actively anxious about reaching your next birthday, you should not be actively anxious about catching this virus.”
Draft guidance for bosses suggests older Brits could be treated differently as lockdown is eased, with employers to consider roles for elderly staff so they can work at home as younger colleagues return to the office.
Downing Street has suggested it may lift lockdown at different rates for varying age groups. But Professor Paul Hunter, from University of East Anglia, said: “Young people don’t often get severe disease but are just as likely to pass on the virus. Giving them greater freedom seems appealing but, how do you stop them infecting older people? It’s likely to be unworkable.”
The latest Department of Health figures show that 30,076 people have died in UK hospitals, care homes and the community, up 649 on the day. That takes us ahead of Italy, on 29,684, and the second highest in the world after the United States.
But Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said: “It’s difficult to make international comparisons. That’s a hard calculation to do with accuracy today.”
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