What is the government doing when the UK registers a new record of 1,820 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours – the highest daily figure since the pandemic began? Dr Joe Pajak asks.


First published in January 2021.


Today’s Data in Focus

Today’s data indicates the horrible fact that 1,820 people have died in the last 24 hours in the UK. This means that 8,523 people have now lost their lives in the last 7 days – the highest number in 24 hours and the highest number in any 7-day period!  

Government strategy, to pick and choose SAGE advice, has failed. There has been 1,283,606 new cases since Boxing Day.

15,944 people have lost their lives in the last 14 days, which is also the highest number of deaths in any 14 day period.

Finally, 668,957 new cases have been reported in the last 14 days.

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.

Latest health care data indicate that 39,068 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 18 January), and 3,947 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 18 January).  

Our NHS is being overwhelmed by the scale of need, our staff are under the most extreme pressure, and yet they continue to give their all, for us all.  

The Full Data

The 7-day UK data chart is provided below.

7-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Trend Lines 20-January-2021

UK COVID-19 data, reported on 20 January 2021:

  • 38,905 positive tests in the last 24 hours 🦠
  • 1,820 deaths in the last 24 hours – the highest at any time during the pandemic!
  • 3,887 hospital admissions (latest date reported 16 January 2021)
  • 39,068 hospital in-patients (to 18 January 2021) - highest at any time!
  • 3,947 patients on ventilation beds (19 January 2021)
  • 3,505,754 total positive cases (since the first case was reported on 31 January 2020)
  • 356 days since first reported case
  • 320 days since first reported death
  • 4,609,740 first dose vaccines 💉
  • 460,625 second dose vaccines (fully vaccinated) 💉

Estimated R number:

  • ®️ between 1.2 and 1.3 – with a daily infection growth rate range of +2% to +5% (as of 15 January 2021)

Since Boxing Day:

  • 1,283,606 new cases 🦠
  • 23,041 further deaths

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes: 101,880 – Registered up to Friday, 8 January 2021.  


The data continues to reach dreadful levels, and we must never forget the data represent real people suffering, real people dying, and a situation that many would argue is so much worse because of poor government decision-making and delayed action.   


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 20 January 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]