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expert reaction to 223 COVID-19 deaths reported on Tuesday 19th October

A comment from Dr Jason Oke and Dr Julian Tang on the latest daily COVID-19 death statistic, as published on the on the government COVID-19 Dashboard.


Dr Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor/Clinical Virologist, Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester, said:

“To some extent this was inevitable once all restrictions were lifted in July – and we saw that last summer also with the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

“The COVID-19 vaccines have reduced hospitalisation and death rates – but the delta variant does easily break through the vaccine protection to cause infection:

which can spread to others who less well protected as their vaccine immunity wanes:

potentially resulting in more severe disease in the vulnerable (particularly the elderly, the obese, and those with comorbidities).

“With almost 1000 hospitalisations and 100-200 deaths per day now from COVID-19 in the UK, and the increasing numbers of flu cases that we are also seeing, this will put more pressure on NHS services.

“It has been surprising that the recent gradually increasing daily COVID-19 cases and deaths have just been mostly accepted by many of us, as just ‘living with the virus’ and an unavoidable consequence of opening up the economy and schools. 

“But as the number of COVID-19 deaths increases, in combination with those from flu, this may change, and some return of social distancing and masking may be required – and perhaps be more acceptable – going into winter when flu traditionally peaks.”


Dr Jason Oke, Senior Statistician at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said:

“As we have said right from the beginning we need to focus on deaths by date of occurrence not deaths by date reported. Reporting Tuesday’s numbers (always the highest) in isolation, tends to exaggerate things, and gives no indication of current trends which has if anything been slowly falling through Sep and October (no guarantee of future trends of course).

– see below from “Deaths within 28 days of positive test by date of death”



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



Declared interests

None received.


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