Covid death toll graphs changed after terrifying ‘forecast was wrong’

The Government has revised down the Covid-19 death toll predictions it used to impose the second lockdown, reports say.

It dropped its daily death toll forecasts from 1,500 to just over 1,000 by December 8 after being rapped by the statistics watchdog.

Experts said Boris Johnson used out-of-date figures up to four times too high when he announced the restrictions last Saturday.

Slides displayed at the Downing Street press conference showed the UK could see 1,500 daily deaths by early next month – higher than the 1,166 peak in April.

But they were "amended after an error was found", the Daily Telegraph reports.

Ones now published on the Government's website show a maximum toll of just over 1,000 by December 8.

The maximum estimated daily hospital admissions have also been revised down from 9,000 to 6,000.

It comes after the UK Statistics Authority, the country's official statistics watchdog, issued a warning to ministers and Government advisers over the use of coronavirus data in ways which can "confuse" the public.

The body said there was a danger that confidence in official figures will be undermined if they are issued without "appropriate explanations of context and sources".

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"The use of data has not consistently been supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner," a statement said.

"Full transparency is vital to public understanding and public confidence in statistics and those who use them."

It also emerged this week that another set of forecasts presented by the Government were significantly out of date and could have been up to four times too high.

Speaking to the Telegraph about the research, Professor Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University's Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, said it was "deeply concerning" that out-of-date data was being used in decision-making.

“Our job as scientists is to reflect the evidence and the uncertainties and to provide the latest estimates," he said.

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