Covid-19 claims another 548 lives in 24 hours, while 21,144 people have now lost their lives because of the coronavirus in just 28 days – still an average of 755 deaths on each of those days, Dr Joe Pajak writes.


First published in February 2021.


As of today, 642,788 people (1.22% of UK adults) have now completed their full, recommended, course of TWO vaccinations against Covid-19; and 17,916,181 people (34.01% of UK adults) in total have had one vaccination.  

An amazing achievement, and a credit to the energy and commitment of our wonderful NHS staff and an army of volunteers, and of course, to the scientists and others involved in development, testing and manufacture of the vaccines.

Today’s Data in Focus

Today’s data indicates the grim and sad fact that 548 people have died in the last 24 hours in the UK. This means that 7,456 people have now lost their lives in the last 14 days.  

In addition, 21,144 people have now lost their lives because of the virus in the past 28 days. This important data measure has fallen for the twentieth day running, the number of deaths still trending downwards.

The detail of the government’s roadmap out of the lockdown is now being absorbed and analysed. Key aspects relate to the importance of vaccine rollout, vaccine effectiveness, keeping the level of infections down, and the potential risks presented by new variants, which must not be ignored. And in relation to this being a ‘cautious’ roadmap, the plan states,

The Government has taken the best scientific advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its working groups on the pace and sequencing of reopening. This analysis is being published by SAGE to inform the public of the scientific and evidential basis that has helped to shape the roadmap.”

One is perhaps left wondering, what exactly did SAGE scientists advise? Especially given the note below:

“An initial, limited, and cautious reopening of schools (e.g. primary schools only) for a time-limited period, in absence of easing other restrictions, would allow for an assessment of impact on community transmission.”

The risk of an upsurge in infections remains a very real concern, alongside the potential damaging impact of new more transmissible and harmful Covid-19 variants, on the level of infections, the spread of the disease, and the pressure on our NHS. Many hospitals are still managing high levels of Covid-19 patients.

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Transmission of the virus surely remains at an unacceptably high level with 8,489 new cases reported in the last 24 hours and 162,493 new cases reported in the last 14 days?

It is worth reflecting here on the average daily numbers of infections (15,889) and the average daily number of deaths (755) as reported in the last 28 days.

Latest health care data indicate that 16,797 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 21 February), and 2,273 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 22 February) – still at very high levels.  

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 Full Data

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

(previous day’s figures and change in brackets)

  • 8,489 positive tests (↘️ -2,152) in the last 24 hours – usual weekend lag
  • 548 deaths (↗️ +370) in the last 24 hours
  • 4,134,639 total positive cases (↗️ +8,489) since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
  • 121,305 total deaths (↗️ +548) within 28 days of first positive test result (for COVID-19 reported up to 23 February 2021)
  • 1,323 hospital admissions – last reported 18 February
  • 16,797 hospital in-patients  (↘️ -1,665) last reported 21 February
  • 2,273 patients on ventilation beds (↘️ -196) – last reported 22 February
14-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Trend Lines 23-February-2021

People vaccinated: (up to and including 22 February 2021)

  • 17,916,181 first dose 💉 vaccines (↗️ +192,341), i.e. 34.01% of UK adults
  • 642,788 second dose 💉 vaccines – fully vaccinated (↗️ +18,463), i.e. 1.22% of UK adults
People in the UK vaccinated: (up to and including 22 February 2021)

Estimated ®️ number: (as of 19 February 2021)

  • 0.6 to 0.9 with a daily infection growth rate range of -6% to -3%

New infections and deaths in the last 28 days:

  • 444,895 new cases 🦠
  • 21,144 new deaths

Days since:

  • 390 days since the first reported UK case
  • 354 days since the first reported UK death

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes: 135,613 – Registered up to Friday 12 February 2021.  


These data, and trends, are shared to focus some light on the journey we have taken over the past year. We must never forget the data represent real people suffering, real people dying  


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 February 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]