Experts say doctors may be becoming better at treating patients and several drugs now appear to have an impact on survival

The risk of dying from coronavirus after being admitted to hospital has fallen dramatically since the beginning of April, analysis by Oxford University has shown.

Around the peak of Britain’s epidemic, six per cent of people hospitalised with Covid-19 died from the virus but figures show that by June 15, just 1.5 per cent died.

Experts at Oxford University say doctors may be becoming better at treating people with the virus. There are now several drugs in use or being trialled in the NHS that appear to have an impact on survival.

There may also be fewer people catching the disease in hospital than in May and April. Those in hospital are more likely to be elderly and already sick and so are more likely to die from the disease if they do catch it.

The fall may also be a reflection that people who are less ill are being admitted to hospital with the virus, where previously hospital beds were reserved for only the most serious cases.

The researchers considered whether those being admitted to hospital were younger, and so more likely to survive, but the data showed that there are now a greater proportion of deaths over the age of 60 than at the peak of deaths in early April.

The table below shows the number of deaths in hospitals in England in the week to 15 June:

Prof Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine, who carried out the analysis with Dr Jason Oke, of Oxford University, and Dr Jason Mahon of the University of York said: “The reasons for the declining death rate in hospitals may be a combination of one or all of these factors or due to some other reason, we have not considered.

“In either case, further research is warranted to understand why the hospital death rate has declined so markedly over the past eight weeks.”

The proportion of people dying with Covid-19 in hospitals had been declining considerably since the end of March.

Of the 10, 387 people in hospital in England with Covid-19 on 2 April, 644 died, whereas on 15 June it was 50 out of 3,270, which shows that the death rate in April was four-fold higher than in June.

“You’d expect 190 deaths if there was the same relationship,” added Prof Heneghan. “It is important to understand the reasons.”

Read the full article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/25/oxford-university-analysis-coronavirus-death-rate-hospitals/