The death toll of the British daily Covid-19 has stopped falling as quickly and the number of cases has continued to level off, with figures showing that the lockdown is finally lifted tomorrow to celebrate “Super Saturday”.
More than 1,000 infected Britons died every day during the darkest days of the crisis in mid-April, but the number of victims has dropped by around 20-30% every week since the start of May.
But Ministry of Health data shows that the seven-day moving average of deaths fell only 10% or less in July, and Wednesday was slightly higher than the week before.
Government statistics last night revealed that 110 people died after being tested positive for Covid-19 every day this week, on average. In comparison, last Friday, the rate was only 8% higher than 119.
This is in line with other official figures suggesting that the coronavirus epidemic is stagnating, as authorities yesterday estimated that around 3,500 people are still infected every day in England alone.
However, the rate has barely changed since mid-June, when the data suggested that 3,800 cases occurred each day. The National Statistics Office (ONS) has warned that the rate at which the epidemic is decreasing has stabilized.
This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson pleaded today with British revelers to be “sensible” when pubs reopen tomorrow as police prepare for chaos and fears of a spike in coronavirus cases.
In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:
- Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps will finally pave the way for summer vacations by publishing a list of countries exempt from quarantine – among the signs, mass tests may soon be introduced at airports;
- Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson warned boards, parents and teachers’ unions not to block return to school because he insisted that young people need full-time education in England from September;
- Shocking figures revealed that a resident of a nursing home died every minute in England and Wales during the height of the coronavirus crisis in mid-April and that 20,000 people had already died.
A HOME CARE RESIDENT DEAD EVERY MINUTE THE FATHER DAY OF CRISIS COVID-19
Office for National Statistics figures released today found that 1,300 nursing home residents died on April 12, the industry’s darkest day of the pandemic.
A nursing home resident dies every minute in England and Wales during the height of the coronavirus crisis in mid-April, shocking figures today revealed.
Data from the National Statistics Office showed that 1,300 residents of nursing homes died on April 12, the darkest day of the pandemic for the area.
That’s almost one death per minute and more than triple the number of deaths on the same date last year, when 407 residents died.
A total of 495 deaths on April 12 were confirmed as Covid-19 following a positive test, but the virus was likely to blame hundreds of others.
At the time, very few residents of nursing homes were swabbed for the infection, as the tests were reserved for the sickest patients in the hospital and NHS workers.
This means that thousands of cases went undiagnosed when the virus spread to the social care sector.
ONS figures also revealed that nearly 20,000 deaths of nursing home residents in England and Wales have involved Covid-19.
A total of 19,394 deaths that occurred between March 2 and June 12 had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.
As a result, the number of deaths in nursing homes is one-third higher than the 14,658 deaths in nursing homes reported by the NSO on Tuesday.
Figures from the Ministry of Health released yesterday show that 252,084 tests were performed or published the day before. The number includes antibody tests for the front line NHS and social workers.
But the bosses again refused to say how many people have been tested, which means the exact number of Britons who have been swabbed for the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been a mystery for a month – since May 22.
Health leaders have also reported 576 more Covid-19 cases, marking the smallest daily jump in new infections in the week before the lockout was imposed.
Government statistics show that the official size of the UK epidemic is now 283,757. But the actual size of the epidemic is estimated at millions, based on antibody test data.
Authorities revised the actual number of confirmed cases yesterday to remove 30,000 due to “methodological improvements and a review of historical data, suggesting that they had been counted twice.
But the actual number of confirmed cases of coronavirus is much lower than the estimated daily infections made by the NSO, mainly because all those who catch the virus have no symptoms and opt for a test.
ONS data suggests that 25,000 people across the country currently have Covid-19, or one in 2,200 (0.04% of the population) – a huge drop from 51,000 active the week before .
But the same data showed that the virus is spreading at a slightly faster rate, with around 25,000 new cases in the week ending June 27 – compared to 22,000 infections that occurred in the community the week before.
ONS statisticians, who projected on the basis of swab tests of 25,000 randomly selected people, warned that the rate at which the epidemic was decreasing has stabilized. They added, “At this point, we have no evidence that the current trend is anything but flat. “
The daily death data provided by the Ministry of Health does not represent the number of Covid-19 patients who died in the past 24 hours – it is only the number of deaths that have been reported and registered with the authorities.
The data does not always correspond to the updates provided by the countries of origin. Department of Health officials work a different time, which means that daily updates for Scotland and Northern Ireland are still out of sync.
And the count announced by the NHS England each afternoon – which only takes into account deaths in hospitals – does not correspond to the figures of the DH because they work with a different recording system.
For example, some deaths announced by NHS England bosses will already have been counted by the Department of Health, which records deaths “as soon as they are available”.
Professor Jose Vazquez-Boland, an infectious disease expert at the University of Edinburgh, told The Times that the flat trend of infection is likely to explain why the sharp drop in deaths stopped.
Last week, Downing Street scientific advisers claimed that the R level of the coronavirus – which indicates how many infected people transmit the virus – is between 0.7 and 0.9.
An R of 1 means that it spreads individually and that the epidemic does not develop or decrease. Higher, it will increase as more people become infected; further down, and the epidemic will diminish and eventually go away.
At the start of Britain’s epidemic, it was estimated at around 4 and tens of thousands of people were infected, which means that the number of cases has spiraled out of control.
The R is now systematically lower than one since at least April, according to the government, but experts estimate that it will start to fluctuate more as the number of cases decreases.
The fewer cases, the more likely that one or two “super-spread” events will seriously affect the estimate of R, with at least three weeks of delay.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said this month that the UK is nearing the point where R will no longer be an accurate measure for this reason.
For the UK as a whole, the current growth rate, which reflects the speed with which the number of infections is changing day by day, is minus 4% to minus 2%.
If the growth rate is greater than zero, and therefore positive, then the disease will develop, and if the growth rate is less than zero, then the disease will decrease.
This is an approximation of the change in the number of infections each day, and the size of the growth rate indicates the speed of change.
It takes into account a variety of data sources, including the government-run Covid-19 surveillance test system – which is run by the NSO and published every Thursday.
For example, a growth rate of 5% is faster than a growth rate of 1%, while a disease with a growth rate of minus 4% will decrease faster than a disease with a growth rate of minus 1%.
Neither measure – R or growth rate – is better than the other, but provides useful information to monitor the spread of a disease, experts say.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY DEAD OF CORONAVIRUS?
Ministry of Health: 43,995
The latest count of deaths from the Ministry of Health for all walks of life is 43,995.
Daily data does not represent the number of Covid-19 patients who died in the past 24 hours, but only the number of deaths reported and registered with the authorities.
It also only considers patients who tested positive for the virus, as opposed to deaths suspected of being due to the coronavirus.
National statistical organizations: 54,577
Data compiled by statistical agencies in each country of origin shows that 54,577 people died of confirmed or suspected Covid-19s across the United Kingdom at the end of May.
The National Statistics Office confirmed yesterday that 49,610 people in England and Wales died with Covid-19 confirmed or suspected before June 19.
The number of coronavirus deaths was 812 the same day in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
National Records Scotland – which collects statistics north of the border – said 4,155 people had died across the country as of June 22.
Their accounts are always 10 days behind the Ministry of Health (DH) as they wait until as many deaths as possible for each date have been counted, to avoid having to revise their statistics.
Excessive deaths: 65,223
The total number of excess deaths has now exceeded 65,000.
Excessive deaths are considered an accurate measure of the number of people killed by the pandemic because they include a wider range of victims.
In addition to including people who may have died with Covid-19 without being tested, the data also show how many people died because their medical treatment was postponed, for example, or who are not or are not were unable to go to the hospital when they were seriously ill.
Data from England and Wales show that there were 59,324 additional deaths between March 15 and June 12, as well as 4,924 in Scotland between March 10 and June 22 and 975 in Ireland from North between March 28 and June 19.