Unless you have directly experienced, or witnessed the deaths of loved ones, close friends or colleagues, or patients you are treating, then the data risk being little more than numbers on a chart. They aren’t. They are a dreadful fact, and some might feel, verging on unpardonable, Dr Joe Pajak writes.


First published in December 2020.


The Guardian reports today that millions in the UK have woken up to tougher restrictions, as the data indicates that deaths directly due to Covid-19 have passed 70,000, while reporting that “separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 86,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.”

The figures are truly shocking, and unless you have directly experienced, or witnessed the deaths of loved ones, close friends or colleagues, or patients you are treating, then the data risk being little more than numbers on a chart. They aren’t. They are a dreadful fact, and some might feel, verging on unpardonable.

What may also be hidden from view, is the fact that yet again a slow decision to bring in appropriately robust restrictions early enough will have resulted in more transmission of the disease and, in all likelihood, many more deaths.  

Unquantifiable, pain, anguish and misery. Let’s hope that the government ensure that schools, colleges and universities are fully protected by stringent government strategic planning, appropriate information and communications, reliable testing, and practical support, not to forget ‘listening’ to education leaders, parents and local authorities.

Today’s Data in Focus

Today’s data indicate the dreadful fact that a further 210 people have lost their lives due to Covid-19 on Christmas Day in the UK,   while the number of deaths in the last 7 days has reached 3,330.

Note: The data for deaths attributed to Covid-19 - each following a reported positive test result for Covid-19 within 28 days of their death.

The data also indicate that there have been 251,787 new cases reported in the past 7 days, around 45% more than the 7-day figures reported a week ago on 19 December.

Today’s 7-day trendline chart is provided below:

UK Covid-19 headline data, reported on 26 December 2020:

  • 34,693 further positive tests
  • 210 further deaths in the last 24 hours
  • 2,143 hospital admissions (reported as of 20/12)
  • 21,286 hospital in-patients in total (reported as of 22/12)
  • 1,529 patients on ventilation beds (reported as of 22/12)

331 days after the first case was reported in the UK, 2,256,005 cases have been reported,   together with 70,405 deaths.

However, these data only include those who have died within 28 days of testing positive; other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher: 79,349 being reported as “the total number of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes, registered up to Friday, 11 December 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.