UK records 439 Covid deaths – highest since February last year as 94,326 cases recorded

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The UK seems to have turned the corner on the Omicron wave with cases far from their New Year peak as restrictions and guidance is loosened across the home nations – but deaths still remain high

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UK records 439 new coronavirus daily deaths

The UK has recorded 94,326 new Covid cases with 439 confirmed deaths in the past 24 hours.

This is up on 56 confirmed deaths yesterday and the highest number of deaths confirmed in one day since February 20 last year.

Even as cases have fallen since a New Year’s peak, the lag between catching Covid and falling ill, and then falling seriously ill and dying means death rates are spiking now.

The UK recorded 88,447 cases yesterday, meaning the decline in cases has plateaued and even seems to be on the increase ever so slightly.

But lags in weekend reporting, which effect data released on Monday, could explain significant differences between the two days.

This comes as the Met police confirmed they were investigating a number of potentially law-breaking ‘events’ thrown by No.10 throughout the pandemic.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson elbow-bumps Karen Ives, lead resuscitation practitioner and vaccination trainer during his visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

One of these ‘events’ was reportedly a surprise birthday party thrown for Boris Johnson which involved cake.

Despite originally resisting calls to investigate any of the 15 reported parties which were thrown at various stages during lockdown, Cressida Dick confirmed today that the police would look into the claims.

The police investigation has caused Sue Gray’s ‘partygate’ report to be delayed.

The report by the top civil servant is looking into the same events.

Despite this, thanks to the public at large abiding to the recently revoked rules, and getting jabs, the Omicron wave seems to have been in rapid decline since the New Year.

The underground during the first week after work from home guidance was removed
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Image:

Alamy Live News.)

The newest variant peaked at almost 220,000 new cases a day and forced dozens of trusts and counties to declare major critical incidents as resources and personnel were stretched to breaking point.

However, since then, the decline has evened out and seemingly plateaued since the middle of January around 90,000 new cases a day.

This week saw the removal of some of the most significant aspects of the government’s Covid ‘Plan B’ introduced in December.

Masks, which were previously required in public spaces like buses, trains and underground, will no longer be needed.

But the government did suggest people continue to wear them, but stopped short of keeping legislation in place to do so.

Masks were also scrapped in secondary school classrooms, and guidance to work from home as well as Covid passes for large-scale events were ended as well.

Testing requirements for travelers returning or coming into the UK will be loosened from February 11
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Image:

Alamy Live News.)

The scrapping of Covid tests required for travelers reentering the UK also signaled the continuation of efforts to learn to live with Covid.

The elimination of the tests, no longer needed from February 11, also led to a boom in bookings for people keen to escape for the February half-term of Easter break.

Wales today said that Covid school rules would be decided locally and masks would remain worn “for the time being”.

Rules on face masks in schools differ across the home nations
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Image:

PA)

The final decision will be taken on February 10 when the Welsh government will review its Covid rules.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon eased their own work from home guidance today.

Last week Scotland announced the removal of its laws around Covid, introduced to combat the spread of Omicron, but some guidance remained in place.

The two-metre social distancing guidance has been reduced to one, and Sturgeon brought Scotland’s international travel rules in line with the rest of the 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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