Ian Payne 4am - 7am
UK coronavirus deaths: The important reason the figures are fluctuating so much
8 April 2020, 13:04 | Updated: 8 April 2020, 14:37
The number of people dying from coronavirus slowed down for a couple of days before rising sharply yesterday. Iain Dale spoke to an expert to explain why the figures are fluctuating so much.
Sunday and Monday saw the number of deaths in the 400s, jumping to 854 people dying from coronavirus yesterday.
To find out why, Iain spoke to Dr Kit Yates, the author of The Math of Life and Death’ and he explained the background needed to understand the figures.
He said: "We're still seeing an increase in the number of deaths, although there are fluctuations in that from day to day.
"What's going on there is the way the hospitals report deaths at the weekend affects that significantly.
"Often hospitals don't report the deaths that happen at the weekend until later in the week, so we see reduced numbers on a Sunday and Monday and then on Tuesday and Wednesday, we see numbers that are bigger than they otherwise would be - catching up.
"So we can't take too much from daily fluctuations, but what really matters is the overall trend. These spikes and dips just show reporting delays.
"There is some good news in terms of the number of deaths - it's not growing as fast as it was before each day.
"And there's also some good news in the number of cases - cases are increasing, but they are doing so at a slower rate. Instead of doubling every 3-4 days, we're now seeing cases doubling every 6-7 days."
Hear his full, fascinating analysis at the top of the page.