Barometer

Does the UK really have the highest Covid death rate?

27 March 2021

9:00 AM

27 March 2021

9:00 AM

A long way from home

A walrus turned up off the Pembrokeshire coast, thousands of miles south of its normal habitat. Some other lonely visitors:

— In July 2020 an albatross, a native of the southern hemisphere, was spotted near Flamborough on the Yorkshire coast. It was one of 30 sightings over the past few decades.
— In September 2018 a beluga whale, normally resident near Svalbard, Norway, was found swimming off Gravesend.
— In May 2016 a 25ft bowhead whale, more usually seen off Greenland, was spotted in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall.
— In August 1999 a great white shark, common to South African, Californian and Australian coasts, and rarely found north of Spanish waters, was seen off Cornwall.

Calling the shots

All over-65s in England were supposed to be offered a Covid vaccine by the end of February. By 14 March what percentage of age groups had been vaccinated?

80+ 93.7%
75-80 94%
70-75 92.8%
65-70 88.2%


Source: Public Health England

League of nations

The UK is often asserted to have the highest death rate from Covid in Europe. Is that true? Deaths per million inhabitants:

Czech Republic 2,314
Belgium 1,953
Hungary 1,913
Slovenia 1,912
Montenegro 1,909
UK 1,851
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,758
Bulgaria 1,739
Italy 1,738

Source: Worldometer

Magma charter

Fagradals, a volcano near Reykjavik, erupted for the first time for 6,000 years. How long can a volcano lie dormant between eruptions?

187 years in the case of Eyjafjallajökull, in the south of Iceland, which erupted in 2010, its ash cloud stopping most air traffic in Europe for several days.
400 years in the case of Mount Sinabung on Sumatra in Indonesia which erupted also in 2010, after four centuries
of inactivity.
800,000 years in the case of the Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming. It has erupted three times in the past 2.1 million years, with eruptions 2.1 million years, 1.3 million years and 630,000 years ago.

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