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KARL | 11:56 Thu 21st May 2020 | How it Works
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I must have missed something somewhere: It is being stated at the highest level that one of the main reasons why the UK has the highest number of Covid 19 deaths in Europe, and approaches the second highest ratio per population, is that the UK is more densely populated than the rest (except for the Netherlands) - let's ignore the claim that only the UK can count and report reliably.

I can understand why the higher density might increase the likelihood of transmission of the disease, especially if people are careless, but not that people should then necessarily also be likelier to die. Has anyone seen the reasoning for the theory for increased risk of death due to density of development being publicly available ?


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I'm not disagreeing with you but can you clarify what you mean by " likelier to die" More infections tends to give more deaths, or is there another statistic based on recovery rates?
If density, age, BAME mix, underlying health, household sizes are not factors what might be factors? Poor health system? Started too late? Poor testing in early days? Non compliance?
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When a statement that is intended to explain why the UK has produced, and always was likelier to produce, a high death count is made, the issue of high population density is almost always included. This can only be because the issuer genuinely believes that high population density actually promotes death from Covid 19 - the deaths themselves of people living in high density areas is explained by where they live: The "crowded" living conditions are at least partially (but significantly) the reason for those deaths (setting contagion aside something separate). Why ? How is that conclusion arrived at ? Contagion yes, death why ?
You need to factor in the testing rates in each country before you can make meaningful comparisons. Consider these two examples:

In Country A there are 5000 people with Covid-19, of whom 1000 end up in hospital and 100 then go on to die. Country A tests everyone who might possibly have the virus (including those who only need to self-isolate for a while), so their figures show 100 deaths out of 5000 known cases, which represents a death rate of 2%.

Country B also has 5000 people with the virus, of whom 1000 end up in hospital and 100 then die. However Country B doesn't test people who simply need to self-isolate, so their figures show only 1000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, out of whom 100 die, which represents a death rate of 10%.
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* as something separate
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Chris, I am specifically after an explanation of how some believe that population density in itself promotes higher death rates from Covid 19. To me the overall discussion about comparisons is not something I am looking at in this thread - the density issue arose from that discussion so the two are linked but I am at this point only trying to understand the thinking by some behind this single component.
given a higher contagion rate, isn't there likely to be a higher death rate?
ps wouldn't it be better to ask the people who make the statements?
Density must be an issue. Imagine two countries each with 100 residents. One person in each was unlucky to pick it up from an airline pilot who stopped by one day. In country A everyone lived in a crowded apartments in one block of flats. In country B they were all rural land dwellers and all lived 10 miles apart, some on little islands.
Where would you expect most cases a month later?
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bednobs, to an extent yes - 100 cases are likely to produce fewer deaths (at most 100 but that would be an extraordinarily poor outcome) than would 100,000 cases (100,000 at most, that would be an appalling outcome). However, once you are ill the likelihood of survival versus death must depend on other factors, some of which are unclear/unknown. When looking at a very small collection of cases one can perhaps identify detailed influences but, when taking an overall view of many many tens of thousands one talks in terms of principal factors.

The discussion/explanation of the UK's death figures has included high population density - why ?
Apparently one in three deaths are occurring among ethnic minorities most of whom live in densely populated areas (London has the highest death rate in the country) and who are for some as yet unaccountable reason thought to be more susceptible. If we compare the demographics of the nation as a whole, that figure is very high indeed. Perhaps that could be a factor?
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bednobs, I have no hope of asking government ministers, heads of ONS, etc. and getting an answer - has their reasoning been published ?

ff, As I said, yes, of course it is reasonable to expect higher transmission rates among closely packed people (although it is not necessarily inevitable).

Once people are ill, whether on a remote island or in a dense urban location in London, what reverses the intuitive chances - the islander (who went on a day visit to London to receive an award from the Queen) may be nowhere near a helpful medical facility whereas the Londoner is within a matter of minutes from a(n) (assumed) world leading health facility. Why is the Londoner more likely to die (because he lives in a crowded council block of flats) than the islander (who lives in blissful isolation) ?
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Naomi, but why is it assumed that BAEM people are dying in larger proportion because they live in high density conditions rather than simply because of their BAEM status - has that been articulated ? I am not aware that BAEM individuals who live in less dense conditions are statistically less at risk of death from Covid 19 than BAEM individuals in dense conditions.
There was a suggestion some time ago that because many live in homes shared by several generations of the same family, isolation, particularly for the elderly, is practically impossible, and therefore infection more likely.
Highest level would be grand total, not a percentage per unit population.
I don't know the answer but it's noticeable that London, which has the highest population density in the country (1500 per sq km), has been overtaken by the north west (517 per sq km) as the place with the most cases. This suggests density doesn't even explain the number of cases let alone the number of deaths.
/// It is being stated at the highest level that one of the main reasons why the UK has the highest number of Covid 19 deaths in Europe, and approaches the second highest ratio per population, is that the UK is more densely populated than the rest ///

The usual Tory smokescreen. Japan closely equates to our population distribution and has a much better record in spite of being on the doorstep of the outbreak.
sorry, I meant to say "most cases per head"
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Naomi, again infection/contagion, becoming ill - what about (entirely separately) death from Covid 19. Covid 19 does not inevitably lead to death but it is being (heavily) suggested that population density varies/alters the risk of death - sick and living in a crowded block of flats or (perhaps)simply a crowded flat makes you likelier to die from Covid 19 than if you are sick but living alone in a bungalow in the countryside. Why should that be so ?

Old_Geezer, highest level of what (unsure what you mean) ? I am simply examining the statement one hears repeated that ......the total (overall total) of Covid 19 deaths is so high in the UK because the population density is high. What has population density in itself to do with the incidence of people dying from Covid 19 ?
Naomi- Karl seems to be referring to deaths per 1000 infections rather than deaths per 1000 population, but maybe I missed something on the thread while I was out but I'm not sure where Karl has got that info from- I'd need to see the data
May be because they won't send an ambulance until your lips turn blue, and its got to be the right shade of blue, and it won't be the right shade until your gone.

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