Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19 pandemic and death statistics: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
9 Dec 2020
COVID-19 pandemic and death statistics: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000104948
Date received: 29 Oct 2020
Date responded: 4 Dec 2020
Information requested

Q1 - % of deaths with COVID who had underlying critical illness – and how was that marked on death certificate
Q2 - % only of COVID deaths
Q3 - % age groups
Q4 - % of numbers in supposed affected area’s
Q5 - % of false positive tests.
Q6 - How much does the company who operates your track and test costs to you and what percentage bonus do they get for getting positive tests. And what are the benefits of them doing this.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
For the first four questions, most of the information you have requested is available from National Records of Scotland (NRS) through the following links:
(1) Weekly COVID-19 statistics update, released every Wednesday at mid-day:
https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats
(2) Monthly COVID-19 statistics additional analysis, released every month, last publication on Wednesday 11th November:
https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-45.pdf
(3) Some of the information you have requested is also available from Public Health Scotland (PHS) on their daily dashboard web page. A link to this is provided here:
https://public.tableau.com/profile/phs.covid.19#!/vizhome/COVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

However, I have provided the answers to your questions here, using the links above, as follows:
Q1 - % of deaths with COVID who had underlying critical illness – and how was that marked on death certificate
This is on page 17 of the link to NRS report provided at (2) above. The report states; "Of the 4,743 deaths involving COVID-19 between March and October 2020, 92% (4,367) had at least one preexisting condition."
Q2 - % only of COVID deaths
This can be found using the link provided at (1) above. Using NRS data published on 2nd December, there were 5,147 deaths where COIVID-19 was identified as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate. This represents 91% of the 5,634 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Q3 - % age groups
Data showing the distribution of deaths by age group is available from the link to the NRS weekly report supplied at (1) above. Table 1 of the Excel file on that page refers. Data showing the distribution of COVID-19 cases by age group is available from Public Health Scotland via the link supplied at (3) above.
Q4 - % of numbers in supposed affected area’s
Data showing the distribution of COVID-19 cases by geography is available from Public Health Scotland via the link supplied at (3) above. Selecting the "Cases by neighbourhood" tab near the top of the screen shows local levels of positive cases over a 7 day period.

For question 5, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because Public Health Scotland (PHS) has the information you are looking for. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. However, you may wish to contact PHS at PHS.FOI@phs.scot who may be able to help you.

For question 6, Test and Protect is a Scottish Government programme, where the delivery of operational services is managed by NHS Scotland.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG