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expert reaction to today’s COVID-19 deaths and cases in the UK / England

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England have announced the latest reported figures for cases of COVID-19 (120,067 in the UK) and deaths from COVID-19 (16,060 in the UK and 14,400 in England).


On the DHSC UK figures:

Prof James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and University of Oxford, said:

“That the announced total of deaths has decreased is of course welcome. However, the UK figures are highly volatile, particularly with delays in reporting over the weekend so today’s number must be regarded with caution. We are still to fully count deaths in care homes or the community which are sadly certain to be significant.

“On March 19th the UK had suffered a total 144 hospital deaths; today the total is over 16,000, in the same time we criminalised talking to two people in the street and almost halted a modern economy. There is no more stark illustration of the scale and speed of problem we still face than these brutal facts. I believe we can do better in the future, to do so we have to learn from our experience and that of other countries and implement these changes in the UK response, all within weeks. The virus does not afford us the luxury of delay, nor is there an off the peg solution.”


On the NHS England figures:

Prof Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said:

“Consistent with previous analyses, the peak day of deaths was the 8th of April. The structure of the data is similar across the regions, with the peak in London on the 4th of April, four days ahead of the rest of the country, the 8th of April.

“NHS England releases data at 2 pm each day and reports daily count up to the previous day as well as a total figure. We wrote about the problems with reconciling the different data here:

“Today’s reported figure is 482 deaths in hospitals in England.

“Deaths on Sunday tend to be lower due to the weekend reporting effect. However, today’s figure is 27% less than last Sunday (12th April)  reported number of deaths (n= 657) in hospitals in England.”

Further information from the CEBM on today’s figures can be found here:



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


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