Covid UK: Daily death toll hits 96 in highest daily figure since MARCH as hospitalisations rise
Nearly 100 Covid deaths were recorded today in the highest daily figure seen for four months, as experts called on the public to get vaccinated and spend more time outdoors.
Department of Health bosses posted 96 fatalities, up 92 per cent on last week. It was the highest number of daily deaths recorded since March 25 when there were 98.
Death figures on Tuesdays can be heavily skewed by reporting lags on the weekend but the number of victims has been rising in line with cases for weeks.
Covid hospitalisations are also continuing to rise, with 745 admissions recorded on July 14 — the latest date data is available for. The figure was up 32.1 per cent on the week before when 564 were recorded.
But the weekly growth in cases appears to be beginning to plateau, with 46,558 positive tests recorded today. The week-on-week average growth has fallen for the third day in a row down to 40.7 per cent.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: ‘The past 18 months have been tough on us all. Now restrictions have lifted many of us want to get back to doing what we enjoy most.
‘However, we must do so with caution and remain sensible. We are in a wave of infections that has seen an increase of over 40 per cent in the past week, there is still a risk of severe illness for many people.
‘We can all reduce the risk by getting both doses of the vaccine, testing ourselves twice a week at home and spending more time outside or in well ventilated rooms. Let’s all remain vigilant.’
The daily figures come amid a litany of data suggesting the number of deaths is starting to follow spiralling cases in Britain — with the vast majority of fatalities occurring in people aged 60 and over.
Deaths in under-60s (light blue line) appear to remain flat while they are beginning to rise in over-60s (dark blue line)
There were 183 deaths linked to Covid in the week to July 9, the latest available. This was a 67 per cent rise compared to the same time last week and the most since April. They are shown on the graph (dark red bar)
Care home Covid deaths have, however, remained static despite growing cases in the community. There were 20 last week, and they have not risen above 30 since March
Flu and pneumonia were also still blamed for more deaths than Covid in the latest week. They were behind 254 fatalities, compared to the 147 which noted Covid as the main cause of death
No10 refuses to rule out making people prove they are double-jabbed to get into PUBS
No10 today refused to rule out making people prove they are double-jabbed to get into pubs – as Tory rebels vowed to fight Boris Johnson’s ‘disgusting’ threat to restrict access to nightclubs.
The PM faces a furious backlash from MPs and civil liberties campaigners after delivering an ultimatum to young people about the shape of the rules from September at a press briefing last night.
And pushed on whether the prospective edict could apply to bars as well Downing Street merely said it will ‘use the coming weeks to look at the evidence’.
Former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption said the move was ‘completely unnecessary’ given the high rates of vaccine take-up across the UK.
Scientist Carl Heneghan suggested it is the thin end of the wedge, saying if the government is worried about ‘crowded spaces’ they will end up demanding medical evidence to board the Tube.
And Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, who chaired the ethics advisory board for NHSx on its contact tracing app, warned that ministers need to be wary about ‘where incentive meets coercion’. Critics also pointed out that being vaccinated is not a guarantee people do not have coronavirus, with around 40 per cent of hospital cases having been jabbed.
Tory MP Charles Walker declared he will vote against the plan if it comes to the Commons after the summer recess. ‘It will start with nightclubs and then quickly move on to other parts of the hospitality sector,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.
Another senior lockdown-sceptic told MailOnline there are ‘likely’ to be enough Tory rebels. But they stressed a revolt would be ‘pointless’ unless Labour lines up against the measures.
‘It’s all about Keir Starmer… unless Labour go through the division lobbies in opposition it will happen,’ the MP said.
The MP said the PM’s was using a ‘disgusting’ tactic to pressure young people to get jabs. ‘I am profoundly disgusted that a Conservative government is manipulating the public like this… it is awful,’ they said.
Asked whether pubs could also be caught by the requirement, a No10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister talked about the sort of areas we were considering, and nightclubs are where there is significant evidence we have at the moment.
‘But we’re going to use the coming weeks to look at the evidence, particularly both in the UK and globally before making a specific decision.’
On another day of coronavirus chaos:
No10 refused to rule out making people prove they are double-jabbed to get into pubs as Tory rebels vowed to fight Boris Johnson’s ‘disgusting’ threat to restrict access to nightclubs;
The NHS Covid app continued to ‘ping’ swathes of the country into self-isolation with 1.7million people thought to be forced to stay at home;
MailOnline revealed plans are being drawn up that would require football fans to prove they have had two doses of Covid vaccination before they can attend matches from the end of September;
No10 slapped down a minister for saying people can ignore being ‘pinged’ by the NHS app if they think it is the ‘right thing’ to do;
A hospital trust has bought its local Nightingale Hospital to get surgery waiting lists for the county down;
One in five parents said they would be prepared to take their children out of the classroom to avoid ruining their summer staycation;
Dominic Cummings claimed Boris Johnson attempted to resist pleas for a second lockdown last autumn, joking that the Covid pandemic was only killing pensioners.
NHS England data shows of the 165 deaths recorded over the last week, 140 were in people aged 60 or older. Eighteen were aged 40 to 59, seven were between 20 and 39 and none were younger than 20.
Its data for the week ending July 19 is incomplete and more deaths will be added over the coming weeks as they are recorded.
The figures come after separate data today showed weekly Covid deaths have risen to their highest level since April.
Office for National Statistics data showed 183 people had Covid mentioned on their death certificates in England and Wales in the week ending July 9, the latest available.
This was two-thirds higher than the previous week and the most recorded since the second wave was dying down at the end of April and the country was under much stricter lockdown rules.
Despite deaths now starting to tick upwards — there are 42 on average every day now compared to 20 at the start of the month — they are still just a fraction of the levels seen during the worst of the second wave, when there were up to 1,800.
Experts say fatalities will continue to climb as cases rise but the Government’s scientific advisers expect them to peak at 200 or below because of the success of the vaccines.
The report found Covid deaths in care homes were also low despite surging cases in the community. There were 20 recorded in the latest week, and they have not risen above 30 since mid-April.
Last month the ONS said the proportion of overall deaths in England and Wales blamed on the virus was just 1 per cent. Now that is estimated to be 2 per cent and rising.
Every region of England saw an increase in Covid deaths but rates stayed flat in Wales, according to the weekly ONS report.
The North West — which has battled a major outbreak of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant — suffered the most deaths (66), followed by London and the West Midlands (both 20).
Meanwhile, the fewest Covid deaths were registered in the North East (eight) despite the region currently being hit hardest by the Indian variant, with case rates double the levels reached in the second wave.
Deaths from all causes surged six per cent above the five-year average in England and Wales, however, (shown) for the number of deaths expected at this time of year
But fatalities due to the virus in care homes remained static despite growing Covid cases in the community
Covid cases rise just 16% in week, figures show
Britain’s daily Covid cases rose by just 16 per cent yesterday, as an expert hailed the small rise as a ‘remarkably good’ sign that the outbreak may already be starting to slow.
The Department of Health’s usual update showed there were 39,950 infections across the UK in the past 24 hours, up on the 34,471 recorded last Monday.
There were also another with another 19 Covid deaths registered, which was more than triple the six victims reported a week ago but still 16 times lower than at the same point in previous waves.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that gloomy warnings of 200,000-plus daily cases and tens of thousands more deaths at the peak this autumn seemed ‘a bit over the top’. He suggested infections could actually start to drop on Thursday, if England’s Covid crisis plays out in the same way Scotland’s did following the surge of cases during Euro 2020.
Nationally, there are currently 45,000 new infections every day across Britain, on average, and the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) expects this to reach at least 100,000 in August or September.
‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson — whose frightening modelling of the first wave spooked ministers into the initial shutdown — has warned that daily cases could rise to 200,000 this autumn, which would dwarf the 68,000 at the height of the second wave in January.
Deaths across the region will rise over the coming weeks because of the data lag between cases and fatalities — it can take over a fortnight for infected patients to fall seriously ill.
No10’s Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned that yesterday’s easing of Covid rules in England would likely trigger a rise in Covid deaths nationwide.
‘Freedom Day’ saw most remaining restrictions removed, with face masks made optional and night clubs allowed to reopen for the first time in 16 months.
The ONS Covid death data looks at all cases in which the virus was listed on the death certificate.
It differs from the Department of Health’s death toll which looks at all patients who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, no matter the cause.
It comes as cases hit their highest levels in months after breaking through the 40,000 barrier, amid fears they could reach 200,000 a day in August.
But they rose by only 16 per cent yesterday after 39,950 were recorded, in a sign the third wave may already be slowing.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the figures suggested warnings of 200,000-cases a day were ‘a bit over the top’.
He suggested infections may actually start to drop on Thursday, if England’s Covid crisis plays out in the same way as Scotland’s following the surge of cases during Euro 2020.
Hospitalisations and deaths are also rising, but they remain at much lower levels than in previous waves because of the successful vaccination drive.
Scientists have always been honest and said jabs are not perfect and will not always prevent infection but they do drastically slash the risk of someone who catches the virus being hospitalised or dying.
But in a clear sign they are working, analysis yesterday revealed Britain’s Covid death rate is now 16 times lower than it was during both the first and second waves.
Infections are currently running at about 45,000 a day across Britain, with 40 deaths being registered every 24 hours on average. But the last time cases hit this level — when the second wave began to spiral out of control in late December — there were as many as 640 daily fatalities.
Infections are currently running at about 45,000 a day (yellow line shows cases increasing since May) but deaths are still flat at about 40 a day (pink line shows fatalities in the third wave). For comparison, the last time cases hit this level when the second wave began to spiral out of control (orange line) there were more than 600 daily deaths