UK Covid daily deaths hit 646 but three in five patients in hospital for something else

The latest Covid data shows 646 new deaths were announced today – the highest daily figure since February 17 – but the NHS says most coronavirus patients are primarily in hospital for a different condition

More than 1,600 deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid have been recorded in the past week

The number of people to die within four weeks of contracting Covid-19 has risen by more than 600, government figures released today show.

The latest Covid data shows 646 new deaths announced today – the highest daily figure since February 17.

It brings the official coronavirus death toll to 173,032 since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

However the heartbreaking figure will include confirmed fatalities over the Easter weekend, when no deaths were announced.

It is also unclear in how many of these cases the virus was the primary cause of death.

NHS bosses today said three in five of all Covid-19 patients in hospital trusts in England are being treated primarily for something else.

Today’s death figure is the highest since February – but follows a four day Bank Holiday weekend


Of the 13,645 patients reported as having the virus on April 19, 8,211 (60%) were not being treated primarily for Covid.

This is the highest proportion since these figures were first published in June 2021, and is up from 26% at the start of December.

Back in January, when announcing plans to ease Covid restrictions in England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that this would translate into death figures.

He said on January 19: “We know that if we look at 40% of people in hospital are there not because they’ve got Covid, they happen to have Covid. That’s almost double we had with Delta.

Mr Javid added: “Many of those people would not necessarily died of Covid.”

Latest figures show 60 per cent of people in hospital with Covid are primarily being treated for something else


Neil Hall/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

All hospital patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 need to be treated separately from those who do not have the virus, regardless of whether they are in hospital primarily for Covid or not.

But the growing proportion of patients who are in hospital “with” Covid-19 rather than “for” Covid-19 shows how the current wave of the virus has not led to the same sort of pressure on critical care as in previous waves.

A total of 296 patients in all hospitals in England were in mechanical ventilation beds on April 19, compared with 773 at the start of December – and well below the 3,736 recorded at the peak of the second wave on January 24 2021.

Separate figures published by NHS England on Thursday show that average daily admissions to hospital of people testing positive for Covid-19 stood at 1,507 on April 19, down 21% week-on-week and the lowest number since March 14.

Admissions have failed week-on-week in all regions.

In the past seven days there have been 1,636 deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid.

This is a 17.5 per cent fall compared to the previous week, latest data shows.

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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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