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expert reaction to latest COVID-19 cases and deaths, including the reporting today of 1,564 deaths

The governments latest stats on COVID-19 cases and deaths have been been released today.


Commenting on deaths:

Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said:

“We have 1564 newly-reported deaths in the UK which is the highest reported daily figure so far.  Alas it is likely that these numbers will continue to increase for the rest of January.  We hopefully are starting to see some impact of the lockdown for newly-reported cases, but there is a lag time before cases reflect hospitalisations and deaths.  So the grim statistics will continue for some time to come.

“The UK is also very close to recording a total of 100k COVID-19 deaths, which is a horrible landmark to have to consider.  The UK also continues to rank very badly1 when comparing to other countries.  In terms of cumulative deaths per million people, only 8 countries have a worse death rate than the UK.  If measuring new daily confirmed deaths per million population, only 4 countries have a worse death rate.”



Commenting on cases:

Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, said:

“Today is the second day in succession that the total number of cases in the most recent 7 day period was lower than in the preceding 7 day period.  Indeed in the past 7 days there were some 29,000 fewer cases reported than the same period a week ago.  It is more difficult to see what is happening with hospital admissions over the same time as there are different reporting delays between the four different nations in the UK and the DHSC covid dashboard graph only goes up to the 7th January because the data for Scotland is not yet available.  For England the most recent date on hospital admissions was 10th January and looking at just the English data it does appear that hospital admissions may have peaked on the 6th of January and subsequently plateaued or even declined a little.  Sadly reported deaths are still increasing fairly rapidly.

“It is too early to be confident that the data from the past few days have indeed meant we have now reached the peak.  The current positive signs may represent a statistical glitch or a short-lived effect causing recent increases to stall only for the surge to be resumed.  It is also still too early for this to be driven by the vaccination campaign.  Nevertheless if the recent trend is maintained this would be very good news for our NHS.

“It should go without saying that this bit of apparent good news is not an indication that we can relax our efforts to control the epidemic.  Infection rates and hospitalisation rates are still far too high and even if case number are declining they may still not be declining rapidly enough to prevent many unnecessary hospitalisations and fatalities.”







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



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