The government have released the latest daily figures for deaths from COVID-19 in the UK.
Prof James Naismith FRS FRSE FMedSci, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and University of Oxford, said::
“These deaths represent a 11 heart breaking events for the families and loved ones. For the country, the toll dipping to levels last seen in early March will correctly be seen as sign that the lock down has worked. We know there is always some delay in weekend numbers. I doubt anyone will forget how fast 11 deaths became 100’s, nor just how long it took us to get down these lower levels. We should pause to reflect the awful loss of life in the UK and to remember the virus is still in our communities. Only by breaking virus transmission networks can we prevent a rerun of March and April. This means us all washing our hands, keeping our distance where we can and masking when we can’t, for the government it means identifying local hotspots before they become wide outbreaks and establishing an effective test, track and isolate system.”
Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, UEA, said:
“The most important thing to remember is not the get too excited about the figures published on Monday. Monday’s figures always relate to data collected on Sunday which is always an underestimate due to week-end delays in reporting from some institutions. This also applies to the data published on Sunday. Tuesday’s figures are usually the largest in the week, after accounting for any general trend in the numbers.
“When using a 7 day rolling mean to even out effects due to the day of the week, there has been a consistent decline in deaths since April. One the other hand the past week there does seem to have been a slowing in this relative rate of decline. Whether this is just temporary and the relative rate of decline increases again we will have to see over the next week or so. Certainly over the last week or two the number of new cases of COVID19 reported each day seems to have stopped falling suggesting that the important R value may be getting close to 1.0, though again it is too early to be certain if this will become a trend.
“It is always difficult deciding on whether to use the actual date of death or date of reporting when mapping the progress of the epidemic. Ideally the actual date of death gives the best data. However, due to delays in reporting if you just use actual date of death, it always looks like the outbreak is disappearing in the last few days.”
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