Sadly there have been another 1,348 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours and a worrying total of 8,739 deaths in the past 7 days, and still the UK government’s pandemic strategy appears to be more reactive than proactive, Dr Joe Pajak writes.


First published in January 2021.


What has been learned as we approach the [first] anniversary of Covid-19 cases being reported in the UK? Almost a year ago now, the first two cases were reported in the UK when two members of the same family – a University of York student and a relative – tested positive for the virus.

What has the government learned from the past year? Where it has appeared often to be late making the tough decisions, many might argue. With recent travel restrictions months behind the curve, delays in lockdowns, recent changes to the two-dose vaccine roll-out; and a communications strategy that has left many wondering exactly what the government’s Covid-19 rules were at any time during the past 359 days!

It has not been a comfortable journey for politicians, or the country – and that’s ignoring the basic lack of preparedness and failure to implement fully the lessons learned from the NHS exercise Cygnus in 2016.

Today’s Data in Focus

Today’s data indicates the grim and sad fact that 1,348 people have died in the last 24 hours in the UK. This means that 16,461 people have now lost their lives in the last 14 days – the highest number in any 14-day period!  

600,054 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 37,899 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 21 January), and 4,076 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 22 January) – the highest number of patients in mechanical ventilation beds since the pandemic began.  

The Full Data

The 7-day UK data chart is provided below.

7-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Trend Lines 23-January-2021

UK COVID-19 data 🦠 reported on 23 January 2021:

(previous day’s figures and change in brackets)

  • 33,552 (↘️ -6,709) positive tests in the last 24 hours
  • 1,348 (↘️ -53) deaths in the last 24 hours
  • 4,125 (↗️ +91) hospital admissions (latest date reported 19 January 2021)
  • 37,899 (↘️ -663) hospital in-patients (to 21 January 2021)
  • 4,076 (↗️ +116) patients on ventilation beds (22 January 2021)
  • 3,617,459 (↗️ +33,552) total positive cases (since the first case was reported on 31 January 2020)
  • 359 days since first reported case
  • 323 days since first reported death

People vaccinated: (up to and including 21 January 2021)

  • 💉 5,861,351 (↗️ +478,248) first dose vaccines
  • 💉 468,617 (↗️ +1,821) second dose vaccines (fully vaccinated)

Estimated R number: (as of 22 January 2021)

  • ®️ 0.8 to 1, with a daily infection growth rate range of -4% to -1%

Last 28 days:

  • 1,359,620 new cases 🦠
  • 26,850 further deaths

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes: 95,829 – Registered up to Friday 8 January 2021.  


The reality of the data is difficult to absorb, but we must never forget the data represent real people suffering, real people dying, and often those who are among the more vulnerable in society. A situation that some would argue has occurred because of a lack of preparedness, 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 23 January 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]