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Numbers don’t always mean what they seem to mean | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters

It pays to always check what is actually being counted

Last Wednesday, the Evening Standard trumpeted “Covid deaths rocket to 207 in deadliest day in nearly 6 months”. In fact, deaths within 24 days of a positive test were slightly down over the previous week. So what did it get wrong?

It appears it fell for the common misunderstanding, even after 18 months of pandemic, that the daily death figure represents those occurring in the last 24 hours, whereas it is deaths that have been reported in that period and reports are fewer on weekends and holidays. The spike of 207 picked up the backlog from the bank holiday weekend – only 50 had been reported the previous day.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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