The International Lecture Series: Your monthly invitation to hear from world leading experts in health surveillance research. The series will focus on statistical modelling and machine learning approaches, policy responses and international best practice in responding to national health emergencies.

Presented by The Turing/RSS Lab: Supporting the UKHSA

About the event

As the 51st session of the UN Statistical Commission drew to a close on 6 March 2020, it was clear that COVID-19 was rapidly escalating from a regional crisis to a global crisis. The Chief Statisticians of the international statistical system had already begun to think about how support could be provided to countries and how a consolidated and coherent statistical overview of the impact of the coming pandemic could be presented.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) were also busy establishing a joint Technical Advisory Group to guide methodological work on calculating excess mortality associated with COVID-19, which would be essential for calculating global mortality and population estimates.

While the technical work presented many challenges, and some interesting opportunities, it also ran headfirst into the national and international politics of mortality – a collision that may have lasting and profound implications for international statistics.  


Opening remarks: Professor Chris Holmes and Dr Johanna Hutchinson (UKHSA)

Presentation by: Dr Steve Macfeely: World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Part 1: Statistics presented by Chief Statisticians of the International System on impact of COVID-19.
  • Part 2: Statistics presented by WHO on COVID-19 and excess mortality associated with COVID-19


Closing remarks: Professor Chris Holmes

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