Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: My Lords, perhaps I may break with convention and the advice I was given when I first entered Parliament and ask a question to which I do not already know the answer. Every week, the Government submit figures to EuroMOMO for deaths from all causes. During the spring, the figures showed a huge level of excess deaths over the normal, but currently, and in recent weeks right up to the end of last year, they show almost no excess over the normal level of deaths in this country. That conflicts with all the evidence we are seeing from hospitals and elsewhere. Can my noble friend reconcile the figures and the facts?

    Lord Bethell: The CMO has given some guidance on this matter. He has made the observation that deaths from other flus are down, partly because of the social-distancing that is part of the lockdown. He has also pointed out the very sad, but I am afraid inevitable, possibility that the large amount of infection that has grown up in the last few weeks will in time lead to further deaths. This is an uncomfortable piece of speculation but, as sure as night follows day, I am afraid that infections and hospitalisations will lead to further deaths. We are running at nearly 1,000 a day at the moment and that number is set to increase.

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