Excess Deaths in China

Still can’t get to the Johns Hopkins site to do my weekly update. Not sure why.

In the meantime, let me briefly address the issue of excess deaths in China, as that was not discussed in the Economist article.

An article of interest: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-deaths-china-covid-outbreak.html

Also see: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/372/bmj.n415.full.pdf

Main points:

  1. This only looked at 1 January to 31 March 2020
  2. Overall deaths did not increase for most of China.
  3. Excess deaths were in Wuhan were 412 per 100,000.
    1. Or, to convert this to a meaningful number, population of the urban area of  Wuhan in 2018 was 8,896,900. 
      1. Population of the Prefecture is 11,081,000 in 2018.
      2. Population of the Metro area is 19 million.
    2. Therefore, excess deaths are at least 36,655 depending on which population is used.
  4. Outside of Wuhan city, the overall death rate was slightly lower. This is probably related to the lockdown.

I have not seen excess deaths calculations for all of China or excess death calculations after 31 March 2020. China reported as of last week 4,848 deaths. This is probably undercounted. The actual number of deaths in China from Coronavirus is probably in the tens of thousands and may exceed a hundred thousand. I have not seen evidence indicating that it is worse than that.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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