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15 April 2020updated 26 Jul 2021 6:17am

Upward turn in death rate casts doubt over whether peak has been reached

By David Ottewell

The trend in new coronavirus deaths has taken an upward turn, after a week of falls fuelled optimism that the worst could be over.

Our chart, below, shows the number of deaths recorded each day as a rolling three-day average, smoothing out “noise” caused by particularly low or high reporting on any given day. 

While Italy – which is more than a month into lockdown – and Spain appear to be well past their peaks, the picture remains more mixed elsewhere. The US, for example, recorded a record number of Covid-19 deaths yesterday, raising its three-day average.

The figures are complicated by the fact working patterns over the Easter weekend may have caused delays in reporting deaths, which means data for the first part of this week potentially underestimated the true death toll.