Experts are demanding that governments around the world launch investigations as “unexpected” deaths are continuing to soar to new highs.
In the past year, excess deaths were far higher than in the pandemic year of 2021.
Among one of the hardest-hit nations is the United Kingdom, where unexpected deaths are thousands higher than average.
In the UK, the past year saw 67,724 unexpected deaths above the pre-pandemic five-year average.
The pandemic year of 2021, however, was 54,770 above average.
Just 25 percent of those deaths have been attributed to Covid.
Unexpected deaths are now more than 10% higher than the pre-Covid average, with experts warning we are facing “a catastrophe of equal proportion to the pandemic itself,” the Express.
They are calling for an urgent investigation into the causes, with figures showing that there were more excess – or unexpected – losses last year than in 2021.
There were 67,724 extra deaths in England and Wales between April 30, 2022, and April 28, 2023.
That is 12.8% above the pre-pandemic five-year average.
Of these, a quarter was attributed to Covid, with three-quarters given as non-coronavirus causes.
This excess is higher than the number of excess deaths during the pandemic in 2021.
Then there was 54,770 extra, mostly Covid deaths compared to the pre-pandemic five-year average – a 10.3% increase.
Experts say they are baffled over the cause of the post-pandemic rise, which has been largely attributed to heart problems or diabetes.
Some blame the long-term effects of delayed healthcare due to lockdown measures, while others point to the record NHS waiting lists.
Cancer specialists are also increasingly alarmed over the increased mortality rates in patients.
In December, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, blamed reduced prescriptions for statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs during Covid restrictions.
However, other experts argued that statins take a long time to have an effect on reducing heart disease.
An Oxford study, meanwhile, found there was no reduction in those prescriptions.
Some have tried to blame an aging population.
However, figures show most excess deaths over the past year have been in those under 75, with fewer than expected from conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s.
Last week oncologists re-stated their alarm about a “cancer time bomb,” with thousands of people losing their lives to the disease.
They predict tens of thousands of excess deaths over the next decade.
Professor Gordon Wishart, a breast cancer surgeon of private diagnostic service Check4Cancer, carried out the cancer research.
He said: “The levels of excess deaths we are seeing is a catastrophe of equal proportion to the pandemic.”
Professor Richard Sullivan, at King’s College London, said: “We fear the cancer death waves will get bigger and bigger leading to tens of thousands of lost life years.”
The Department of Health said it had published a recovery plan to combat waiting times, adding: “We are fully focused on improving cancer outcomes.”
Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine said: “How high do excess non-Covid deaths have to go before we do anything about it?
“We need to urgently investigate what is causing this rise as well as immediately prioritize cancer diagnosis and treatment.”
A UK Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson noted that “other countries across Europe such as France and Germany facing similar circumstances.
“We recognize the pressures our health services are facing and that is why we have published an Urgent and Emergency Care and a Primary Care Recovery Plan – to cut waiting lists and get people the care they need when they need it.”
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