As the House of Commons debates England’s new ‘tier’ system, coronavirus restrictions continue to have an impact despite 603 deaths reported today, Dr Joe Pajak writes.


First published in December 2020.


Today, Tuesday 01 December 2020, official government data indicates that 6,311 people have died in the past 14 days (following a reported positive test result for COVID-19 within 28 days of their death). This is a clear reminder that the coronavirus is still very much present within our communities.

For the avoidance of any misunderstanding, that means that 6,311 deaths have been reported between, and including, 18 November 2020 and 1 December 2020 according to data on the government site.

Restrictions continue to have an impact, but with 603 deaths reported today (1 December) the situation is still very worrying, albeit with some significant variations across different areas of the UK. The debate today in the House of Commons, about England’s new ‘tier’ system, is an important milestone in the government’s attempt to gain more control over the spread of the virus.

An important, and relevant, additional issue is the relatively small number of tests being carried out on a daily basis: official data indicates that this continues to be significantly below the capacity of tests available.

Headline data, as reported on 1 December 2020:

  • 13,430 positive tests.
  • 603 more deaths in the last 24 hours
  • 1,369 hospital admissions (last reported on 26/11)
  • 15,438 hospital in-patients (last reported on 29/11)
  • 1,415 on ventilation beds (last reported on 29/11)
  • 233,638 new cases reported in the last 14 days according to government data.

It is important to remember that since the first UK case, at the end of January 2020, there have been 1,643,086 cases of coronavirus in the UK; and according to today’s government figures 59,051 people have died.

However, these data include only those who have died within 28 days of testing positive; other measures suggest the number of deaths is actually higher: 69,752 being reported today as “the total number of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes, registered up to Friday, 20 November 2020.”🔷


Data source:



Dr Joe Pajak, Professional experience applied scientific research and development, then director of a national children’s charity, trustee of a disability charity, and governor of NHS foundation trust hospitals.





[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 1 December 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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