With another 648 deaths reported today the situation continues to be of much concern and a further stark reminder, if needed, that the coronavirus is still very much present and causing pain and hurt within so many families, Dr Joe Pajak writes.

First published in December 2020.

Today, Wednesday 2 December 2020, official government data indicate that 6,430 people have died in the past 14 days – following a reported positive test result for COVID-19 within 28 days of their death. A further stark reminder, if needed, that the coronavirus is still very much present within our communities and causing much pain and hurt within so many families.

This data means that 6,430 deaths have been reported between (and including) 19 November 2020 and 2 December 2020 according to data on the government site. This figure is the highest 14-day total number of deaths since 13 May 2020, which was towards the end of the first Covid-19 peak across the UK.

Restrictions have had an impact, but with another 648 deaths reported today the situation continues to be on a knife-edge and of much concern. In addition, some significant variations in the data, across different areas, have created problems for the Government in relation to justifying the rationale for the new system of ‘Tiers’ introduced today across England.

Different restrictions are in operation in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Some would argue that, the differences in restrictions, across the four nations, and within different local areas, create inconsistencies and misunderstandings. Time will tell.

All the more important then, that today marked a vital positive step forward in the fight against Covid-19; with the announcement that the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The UK rollout will come with its own challenges, but this achievement should be celebrated and noted as being the result of immense international scientific effort. However, having mentioned this positive light at the end of the tunnel, the relatively small number of tests being carried out on a daily basis continues to be a real concern.

Headline data, as reported on 2 December 2020:

  • 16,170 positive tests.
  • 648 more deaths in the last 24 hours.
  • 1,191 patients admitted to hospitals (last reported on 28/11).
  • 15,436 hospital in-patients (last reported on 30/11).
  • 1,351 patients on ventilation beds (last reported on 01/12).
  • 230,199 new cases reported in the last 14 days according to government data.

The wider context since the first reported UK case at the end of January 2020, is that there have been 1,659,256 cases of coronavirus in the UK; and according to today’s government figures 59,699 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 2 December 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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