UK passes 400,000 total coronavirus infections with rise of 4,926 in a day

By | September 22, 2020

Britain records 4,926 cases taking the total above 400,000 as 37 more victims are confirmed and ONS figures show weekly deaths are rising for the first time since APRIL but are still just 1% of all fatalities

  • NHS England confirmed deaths of another 28 infected patients, while the Scottish Government recorded one
  • Office for National Statistics showed deaths rose for first time since mid-April, stopping a 20-week decline 
  • There was a 27% week-on-week increase in deaths on September 13, from 78 fatalities a week earlier
  • ONS issued caveat that bank holiday may have cut deaths in the week prior, making recent week look worse
  • But the stats mirror what is showing in official death count, cases and hospitalisations – a rising trend 
  • Covid-19 makes up just one per cent of all deaths in England and Wales now, the statistics show 

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Britain today recorded another 4,926 cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s total above 400,000 confirmed infections as the outbreak continues to spiral. 

Department of Health figures show 4,189 new Covid-19 infections are now being recorded each day, on average — up 35 per cent from the figure of 3,096 last Tuesday.

But it is impossible to compare cases recorded now to levels seen during the first wave because the government’s lacklustre swabbing policy at the time meant the true scale of the crisis was a mystery. Top experts believe more than 100,000 cases were truly occurring each day during March and April.

Another 37 people have died across the UK, officials announced today, which is more than on any other day for two months. The 44 announced on July 14 was the last highest figure. Government statistics show an average 23 Britons are now succumbing to the illness daily, up from 11 last Tuesday. 

Hospital admissions — another measure of how severe an outbreak is — have also risen again. Figures show 237 newly-infected patients required NHS care in England on Sunday, up from 153 the week before. The rolling seven-day average figure has jumped by about 56 per cent over the same time frame.   

Separate Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published today showed the weekly number of people dying of Covid-19 rose for the first time since April. Some 99 people in England and Wales were killed by the coronavirus in the week ending September 11, up from 78 a week earlier.

Although still the second lowest number of registered deaths since March and just one per cent of the total deaths from all causes in that the week, the 27 per cent rise shows a reversal of the downward trend that lasted for 20 weeks. Deaths had fallen every week since April 17, three weeks after the lockdown was imposed.

The ONS count chimes with official numbers of deaths announced each day by the Department of Health, that the daily average began to rise again on September 7 from seven per day to 22 a day yesterday. All signs point to the virus rebounding in Britain and the UK’s coronavirus alert level was raised to four last night, meaning transmission of the virus is ‘high or rising exponentially’.

Boris Johnson today announced he is making the Army available to the police in order to boost enforcement of coronavirus rules as he unveiled a wave of new measures designed to stop the spread of the disease. The Prime Minister said the police will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up officers so more can go out and crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200.

The UK could see a crisis-level 50,000 cases a day by mid-October and 200 deaths per day in November if action isn’t taken soon to stem the rising tide of cases, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned yesterday. But scientists have since hit back at the claims — which saw Sir Patrick and Professor Chris Whitty compare the UK’s trajectory to Spain and France, saying neither country is anywhere close to 50,000 cases a day.

The ONS report did not commit to warning of a rise in Covid-19 deaths as it has with cases, but issued a caveat that the August bank holiday may have meant the previous week’s deaths were unrealistically low.

A separate report published by the ONS today found seven out of 10 working-age people who died of coronavirus between March and June had caught the illness before lockdown began, showing that all groups saw a drop in fatalities after restrictions were introduced. It also claimed there were only 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales — roughly a tenth of the total number of victims since the pandemic began.

In other coronavirus developments in Britain today: 

  • Sir Keir Starmer used his first Labour conference speech as leader to warn that a second national lockdown would be a ‘sign of Government failure, not an act of God’ that would take an ‘immense toll’ on public health and the economy;
  • Sir Keir also claimed the ‘incompetence’ of the Government is ‘is holding Britain back’ and that the ‘underfunding of the NHS’ and the ‘abandonment of social care’ by the Conservatives had meant the UK was not prepared for the pandemic;
  • Julian Knight, the Tory chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee, said without a ‘route map’ for getting spectators back to sports events ‘we risk decimation of our sporting and cultural infrastructure’;
  • Shares in some of Britain’s biggest pub chains felt the pinch following the announcement of the 10pm curfew as City Pub Group fell 6.6 per cent while Wetherspoons dropped 0.4 per cent;
  • Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething welcomed the UK Government’s decision to revert back to working from home as he said it was ‘a welcome shift… that matches our position’;
  • Tory peer Andrew Lloyd Webber warned that commercial theatre will not survive unless the Government ‘steps up to the plate’;
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the increase in coronavirus cases is ‘extremely difficult news for all of us and the whole country’ as he said the Bank ‘will do everying we can do… to support the businesses and people of this country’.

MOST WORKING AGE ADULTS WHO DIED OF COVID-19 ‘CAUGHT IT BEFORE LOCKDOWN’ 

Seven out of 10 coronavirus deaths of working age adults between March 9 and June 30 were likely caused by an infection caught before lockdown, figures show.

There were 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of these, 72 per cent (3,839), occurred on or before April 25 and the person probably caught the virus before lockdown, which started on March 23.

The ONS’s assumption is based on evidence that the maximum time from infection to symptom onset is 14 days, and there are around 20 days on average from symptom onset to death.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in men working in health and social care were around three times higher if the virus was thought to have been acquired before lockdown than if it was caught during the period.

For female health and social care professionals, deaths rates were around two times higher for those likely to have contracted the virus pre-lockdown. 

The lockdown was linked to significantly lower rates of death involving coronavirus in all occupation groups, when compared with rates seen before lockdown.

Men working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 during the lockdown.

After restrictions were introduced, there were 81.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 32.5 per 100,000 of other working age males. 

Working women had ‘far fewer’ deaths than men, but those working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had higher rates of death both pre- and post-lockdown, compared with women of the same age in the general population. There were 31.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 17.5 per 100,000 working age women. 

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Today’s surge in infections makes Britain only the 14th country in the world to record more than 400,000 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, behind only Spain and France in Europe.

Data also shows 6.29 cases are being found for every 100,000 tests now, up from 3.29 a fortnight ago. That statistics shows the outbreak is not just down to more testing in hotspots. 

The ONS report showed that the number had risen for the first time since the week of April 17. The 99 deaths still only represented 1 per cent of all deaths recorded in the seven-day spell ending September 10, however.

On that date five months ago it was soaring, from 6,213 by April 10 to the all-time peak of 8,758, when people were dying at a rate of almost one a minute.

ONS data counts the number of people who have died of Covid-19 by trawling through death certificate records to look for mentions of the disease.

It includes anyone who had a suspected case of the disease, as well as those who actually tested positive. The Department of Health only counts positive-tested patients.

As a result, the ONS’s estimate of the total number of people to have died from the disease is considerably higher.

It today puts the figure at 49,869 in England alone, while the Department of Health counts 36,999 who died within a month of diagnosis, or 40,923 within two months.

ONS experts show that there have this year been 53,376 more deaths than would normally be expected in England and Wales, known as ‘excess deaths’.

The vast majority of these, it is understood, can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic in some form. Even if people have not been directly killed by the virus they may have missed life-saving medical care during lockdown, for example.

Throughout the UK there are estimated to have been 59,281 excess deaths during the pandemic, many of which are likely to be Covid-19 deaths. This number may fall as coronavirus deaths remain low and fatalities from other causes are lower than usual.

Today’s report from the ONS showed that deaths of all causes are now 5.4 per cent above the five-year average for the time of year.

Hospital deaths remain lower than usual (371 fewer than normal) but there are more people than usual dying at home (830 above average).

Experts have raised concerns in the past that this could be because people have avoided medical care during the crisis and become more seriously ill and died at home. Care home fatalities were also above average (57 more than usual) for the week to September 13.

Today’s report comes amid grave concerns that the virus is slipping out of the Government’s control again now that the numbers of officially-recorded cases, hospitalisations and deaths are rising again.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a public TV briefing tonight when he is expected to confirm that pubs and restaurants in England will no longer be allowed to open past 10pm, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus among young adults.

AREAS WITH THE MOST COVID-19 DEATHS (TOTAL)

  1. Birmingham (1,237)
  2. Leeds (723)
  3. County Durham (711)
  4. Sheffield (589)
  5. Liverpool (587)
  6. Cheshire East (559)
  7. Bradford (521)
  8. Croydon (497)
  9. Brent (493)
  10. Barnet (459)
  11. Wirral (445)
  12. Manchester (429)
  13. Cheshire West and Chester (416)
  14. Ealing (415)
  15. Buckinghamshire (410)
  16. Harrow (402)
  17. Walsall (396)
  18. Enfield (393)
  19. Cardiff (389)
  20. Stockport (386)
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AREAS WITH THE FEWEST COVID-19 DEATHS (TOTAL) 

  1. Isles of Scilly (0)
  2. City of London (4)
  3. Ceredigion (7)
  4. Hastings (11)
  5. South Hams (12)
  6. Mid Devon (19)
  7. West Devon (19)
  8. Torridge (20)
  9. West Lindsey (23)
  10. Rutland (24)
  11. Norwich (25)
  12. North Devon (26)
  13. Ribble Valley (27)
  14. Lincoln (28)
  15. Mendip (29)
  16. Ryedale (32)
  17. Teignbridge (33)
  18. Melton (33)
  19. Isle of Anglesey (34)
  20. North East Lincolnshire (35)
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BORIS BRINGS IN THE ARMY TO ENFORCE RESTRICTIONS

Boris Johnson today announced he is making the Army available to the police in order to boost enforcement of coronavirus rules as he unveiled a wave of new measures designed to stop the spread of the disease.

The Prime Minister said the police will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up officers so more can go out and crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200.

Mr Johnson said the UK is at a ‘perilous turning point’ in the fight against the virus as he imposed a 10pm curfew on all restaurants, bars and pubs across the country from Thursday with the hospitality sector also being restricted to table service only.

A requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings, except for when they are seated at a table to eat or drink.

Mr Johnson said that ‘unless we palpably make progress’ in the coming weeks then the measures announced this lunchtime ‘will remain in place for perhaps six months’ – comments which appear to effectively kill off any hopes of a normal Christmas.

He also announced the end of the Government’s back to work drive as he said he is now ‘asking office workers who can work from home to do so’.

The Government has been actively encouraging workers to ditch working from home and today’s U-turn represents a humiliating climbdown for the PM who earlier this month had told his Cabinet that ‘people are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too’.

The decision to urge workers to work from home is likely to spark dire warnings about the future of struggling town and city centres as business groups immediately demanded the Government extend its furlough scheme which is due to close at the end of October.

The PM also said that if the new plans fail to get the disease under control then he ‘reserves the right to deploy greater fire power’.

Plans for a partial return of sports fans to stadiums from October 1 have also been ‘paused’ while the number of people allowed to attend weddings is being reduced to 15 from Monday. Exemptions to the rule of six are also being reduced, banning indoor team sport such as five-a-side football matches.

Despite the PM’s new measures there are growing concerns that the Government could soon move to impose stricter restrictions on socialising which go even further than the current rule of six. That could mean a ban on households mixing inside.

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A separate report published today by the ONS claimed that seven out of 10 coronavirus deaths of working age adults between March 9 and June 30 were likely caused by an infection caught before lockdown.

There were 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales, the report said.

Of these, 72 per cent (3,839), occurred on or before April 25 and the person probably caught the virus before lockdown, which started on March 23.

The ONS’s assumption is based on evidence that the maximum time from infection to symptom onset is 14 days, and there are around 20 days on average from symptom onset to death.

Rates of death involving Covid-19 in men working in health and social care were around three times higher if the virus was thought to have been acquired before lockdown than if it was caught during the period.

For female health and social care professionals, deaths rates were around two times higher for those likely to have contracted the virus pre-lockdown. 

The lockdown was linked to significantly lower rates of death involving coronavirus in all occupation groups, when compared with rates seen before lockdown.

Men working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 during the lockdown.

After restrictions were introduced, there were 81.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 32.5 per 100,000 of other working age males. 

Working women had ‘far fewer’ deaths than men, but those working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had higher rates of death both pre- and post-lockdown, compared with women of the same age in the general population.

There were 31.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 17.5 per 100,000 working age women.

This can largely be explained by the high rate of carers and home carers, who would be likely to have continued during the lockdown and not been able to work from home, therefore possibly increasing the risk of infection, it said.

The ONS report said: ‘During the pandemic, some occupations, such as health and social care professions, have continued to work in proximity to others; this is a factor that may explain the generally higher rates seen among such occupations.’ 

It came as Sir Patrick Vallance yesterday warned the UK faces 50,000 new daily cases of coronavirus by the middle of October if the spread of the disease is not brought under control and infections continue to double every seven days. 

But scientists last night eased fears that Britain is hurtling towards the milestone, insisting that neither Spain or France have reached those sky-high levels, even though the Government fears the UK is on track to follow their trajectories.

Top scientists believe more than 100,000 cases were actually occurring daily during the darkest days of Britain’s crisis in March and April. 

And other experts believe the dreaded second wave won’t prove as deadly as the first because doctors have become better at treating the disease. 

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE REALLY DIED OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE UK?

Department of Health: 41,788

The Department of Health’s latest death count for all settings (as of September 22) stands at 41,788.

The data, counted daily, is a record of how many people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus. This was a new time limit set by the Department of Health after it emerged Public Health England had been over-counting by including people regardless of how long after a test they died, and regardless of what they died of.

It also only takes into account patients who tested positive for the virus, not suspected cases.

National statistical bodies: 57,601

Data compiled by the statistical bodies of each of the home nations show 57,601 people died of either confirmed or suspected Covid-19 across the UK by mid-September.

The Office for National Statistics confirmed that 52,482 people in England and Wales died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 by September 11.

The number of coronavirus deaths was 883 by the same date in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

National Records Scotland — which collects statistics north of the border — said 4,236 people had died across the country by September 13. 

Excess deaths: 59,281

 The total number of excess deaths across the UK is estimated at 59,281, as of September 13. 

Excess deaths are considered to be an accurate measure of the number of people killed by the pandemic because they include a broader spectrum of victims.

As well as including people who may have died with Covid-19 without ever being tested, the data also shows how many more people died because their medical treatment was postponed, for example, or who didn’t or couldn’t get to hospital when they were seriously ill.

Data from England and Wales shows there has been an extra 53,376 deaths so far this year, as well as 5,023 in Scotland and 882 in Northern Ireland.

Excess deaths is the only measure that can – and is likely to – go down over time, because when Covid-19 deaths are low, lower numbers of deaths from other causes can cause the number to fall. 

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HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE UK? (ONS data ranked highest to lowest) 
AreaDeathsAreaDeathsAreaDeathsAreaDeaths
Birmingham1,237Tower Hamlets188Chorley117Mid Suffolk78
Leeds723Westminster188Wyre Forest117Oxford77
County Durham711Bedford184Cherwell116Eastbourne76
Sheffield589Epping Forest184Wrexham116Harlow76
Liverpool587Hertsmere182South Derbyshire115Broxbourne76
Cheshire East559Reigate and Banstead182Elmbridge115Bassetlaw76
Bradford521Ashford181High Peak113Hambleton74
Croydon497Sutton180Welwyn Hatfield113Rugby74
Brent493Swindon174Colchester112Monmouthshire74
Barnet459Tendring172Havant112South Kesteven73
Wirral445Hammersmith and Fulham172Hartlepool111Tamworth73
Manchester429York171Slough111Runnymede73
Cheshire West and Chester416South Gloucestershire171Winchester111Lancaster72
Ealing415Mid Sussex169Wychavon111Broadland72
Buckinghamshire410Southampton168Peterborough110Wellingborough72
Harrow402Stratford-on-Avon168Portsmouth108Bracknell Forest70
Walsall396Barking and Dagenham168Sevenoaks108Sedgemoor70
Enfield393Reading166Kettering108Gwynedd69
Cardiff389Brighton and Hove166Denbighshire108Craven68
Stockport386Nuneaton and Bedworth165Erewash107Arun68
Sandwell378South Tyneside165Hinckley and Bosworth107North West Leicestershire67
Wiltshire368Thanet164Vale of Glamorgan107Torfaen66
Wakefield361Newport164Gravesham106Merthyr Tydfil66
Wigan356Camden163South Staffordshire106Copeland65
Bromley346Dorset162Blackburn with Darwen105Burnley65
Rotherham339East Staffordshire162Broxtowe105Hyndburn64
Sunderland338North Tyneside159Mole Valley105Oadby and Wigston64
Kirklees334Stockton-on-Tees157Tewkesbury104Blaenau Gwent64
Tameside333Islington155Warwick104Uttlesford63
Salford332Richmond upon Thames154North Lincolnshire103Harborough63
Leicester329Wokingham152Neath Port Talbot103Worcester63
Bolton329Chelmsford152Telford and Wrekin102South Cambridgeshire62
Wolverhampton324North Somerset151Amber Valley102Redditch61
Derby321South Lakeland150East Hertfordshire101Stevenage60
East Riding of Yorkshire320Folkestone and Hythe150Conwy101Gosport59
Hillingdon316Thurrock149Castle Point99South Holland59
Dudley315Blackpool148Eastleigh99South Norfolk59
Redbridge314Ashfield147Fareham99Babergh59
Newham310Gloucester146East Northamptonshire99Torbay58
Sefton305Knowsley145North Hertfordshire98Rother58
Rhondda Cynon Taf302Flintshire145Fylde97Cotswold58
Lewisham294North East Derbyshire144Guildford96South Northamptonshire58
Lambeth293Canterbury144Spelthorne95South Somerset58
Coventry291Newcastle-under-Lyme144Powys95Bolsover56
Northumberland283King’s Lynn and West Norfolk142Rochford94East Lindsey56
Central Bedfordshire281Waverley141South Ribble94North Norfolk55
Northampton281Carlisle140Breckland94Rossendale54
Solihull279St Albans139Bridgend94East Cambridgeshire51
Havering277Cheltenham137Darlington93Richmondshire51
Haringey274Bromsgrove137Tandridge93Malvern Hills51
Oldham270Huntingdonshire136Bath and North East Somerset92East Devon50
Doncaster266Preston135Plymouth92Corby50
Shropshire260Redcar and Cleveland134Stroud92Hart49
Southwark255Dover134Surrey Heath90Great Yarmouth49
Bristol, City of254Caerphilly134Brentwood89Somerset West and Taunton49
Barnsley253West Berkshire133North Warwickshire89Forest of Dean48
Newcastle upon Tyne253New Forest133Three Rivers88North Kesteven46
Waltham Forest252Kingston upon Thames132Rushcliffe88Selby46
Trafford251Windsor and Maidenhead131Carmarthenshire87Eden45
Bury243Halton129Isle of Wight86Pembrokeshire42
Bexley242Herefordshire, County of128Chesterfield86Adur40
Gateshead240Watford128Rushmoor85Exeter39
Hounslow240Dacorum127Scarborough85North East Lincolnshire35
Nottingham239Dartford127Tunbridge Wells84Maldon35
Rochdale238Ipswich127Derbyshire Dales83Boston35
Warrington233Kensington and Chelsea127East Hampshire83Isle of Anglesey34
Hackney230Wealden126Cambridge82Teignbridge33
Greenwich228Swale126Barrow-in-Furness82Melton33
East Suffolk222Vale of White Horse125Blaby82Ryedale32
Wandsworth217Charnwood124Chichester82Mendip29
Kingston upon Hull, City of216Horsham124Fenland81Lincoln28
Luton215Calderdale124Allerdale81Ribble Valley27
Basildon214Gedling122Epsom and Ewell81North Devon26
Southend-on-Sea213Braintree121West Suffolk81Norwich25
Cornwall210West Oxfordshire121Pendle80Rutland24
Harrogate208Lichfield121Cannock Chase80West Lindsey23
Middlesbrough206Wyre120Worthing80Torridge20
Medway205Stafford120Staffordshire Moorlands79Mid Devon19
Merton205Test Valley119Woking79West Devon19
Stoke-on-Trent204Maidstone119Crawley79South Hams12
Swansea204West Lancashire119Tonbridge and Malling78Hastings11
St. Helens202South Oxfordshire119Daventry78Ceredigion7
Milton Keynes200Lewes117Mansfield78City of London4
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole189Basingstoke and Deane117Newark and Sherwood78Isles of Scilly0


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