Covid has now killed 150,000 people in UK – but new cases fall to 10-day low


The tragic figure, the highest daily number since February last year according to the Department of Health’s daily dashboard, brings the number of lives lost to the virus to 150,057 – despite the UK reporting the lowest new cases since December 28

Latest data shows that the north of England is the UK's Covid epictentre
Latest data shows that the north of England is the UK’s Covid epictentre

A further 313 people have died from Covid-19 – bringing the UK’s official death toll past 150,000.

The tragic figure, the highest daily number since February last year according to the Department of Health’s daily dashboard, means 150,057 lives have been lost to coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

It means the UK is just the seventh country to pass the devastating landmark, following the USA, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Peru.

Today the department said 146,390 people had tested positive for Covid in 24 hours – a drop of more than 15,000 from a week ago and the lowest number since December 28.

Figures released by the Department of Health this afternoon show 2,434 people were admitted to hospital in 24 hours – bringing the seven day total to 15,812.

This is 57.7 per cent higher than the previous week.

Healthcare services have been stretched to breaking point due to staff absences
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Image:

Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

More than 1.2 million cases have been confirmed in the past week across the UK as the Omicron variant rips through the country.

A week ago – on New Year’s Day – the Department of Health announced 162,572 new cases of the virus and 154 fatalities.

Earlier this week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it estimated a staggering one in 15 people in England had Covid in the final week of 2021.

Across the UK, researchers said they believed around 3.7 million people had the virus on any given day, with one in 20 people in Wales and Scotland and one in 25 in Northern Ireland thought to have Covid.

The latest data now suggests that the North East and North West are now becoming the UK’s Covid epicentre.

Figures showed that three of the five UK areas with the biggest week-on-week rises in Covid case rates are Middlesbrough (748.8 to 2,651.4 per 100,000 people), Copeland (1,731.3 to 3,525.8) and Redcar & Cleveland (846.8 to 2,564.3).

Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick highlighted these regions, along with the Midlands, as areas of concern.

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He said cases in London are “slowing down”, but scientists need two weeks to see if this continues.

And he said Omicron is possibly the “first ray of light” in ensuring Covid-19 becomes endemic and easier to live with, similar to the common cold.

Dr Tildesley told Times Radio on Saturday: “Most other parts of the country are about two to three weeks behind where London is in their epidemic profile.

“Particularly concerning is the North East and the North West – if you look at hospital admissions in those two regions they are going up, also the Midlands, where I live, that’s also a little bit concerning, so it is a worry.

Worst Covid ‘black zones’ as hospitals fill up and cases ‘move further north’
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Image:

coronavirus.data.gov.uk)

“On the slightly more positive side, so it doesn’t sound all doom and gloom, what we are seeing from hospital admissions is that stays in hospital do appear to be on average shorter, which is good news, symptoms appear to be a little bit milder, so this is what we are seeing consistently with the Omicron variant.”

Dr Tildesley continued: “The thing that might happen in the future is you may see the emergence of a new variant that is less severe, and ultimately, in the long term, what happens is Covid becomes endemic and you have a less severe version. It’s very similar to the common cold that we’ve lived with for many years.

“We’re not quite there yet, but possibly Omicron is the first ray of light there that suggests that may happen in the longer term. It is, of course, much more transmissible than Delta was, which is concerning, but much less severe.

“Hopefully, as we move more towards the spring and we see the back of Omicron, we can get more inter-relationship of living with Covid as an endemic disease and protecting the vulnerable.

“Any variant that does emerge which is less severe, ultimately, in the longer term, is where we want to be.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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