34 deaths due to Covid-19 were reported in the last 24 hours in the UK, together with 2,596 new infections, and a total of 18,118 new cases in the past 7 days. New variants are surely a growing concern, Dr Joe Pajak writes.

First published in April 2021.

Variants are still emerging, and still causing significant concern, as demonstrated again today by a number of reports about the new ‘Indian variant of coronavirus’ now found in the UK, which as reported yesterday in the Times, some scientist fear may prove resistant.

“An Indian coronavirus variant with mutations that may help it evade immunity has been detected in Britain for the first time.

A total of 77 cases of the variant, called B.1.617, have been recorded up until April 14, Public Health England said. Four of them were in Scotland.

The variant has worried some scientists because it has two mutations to its spike protein, the part of the virus that the immune system attacks, that might make it harder for the body’s defences to spot. Its discovery comes amid surging infection rates in India, which yesterday recorded more than 200,000 cases.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Times wrote today that, “the UK finds variant linked to severe second wave in India. Discovery of 77 cases of new strain prompts calls to add India to Britain’s travel ‘red list’.”

As of today, 8,931,547 people have completed the full course of TWO vaccinations (as currently required with our vaccines) against Covid-19; that's equivalent to 13.37% of the total UK population (or 16.96% of the adult population). While, 32,574,221 people in total have received one dose of the vaccine: that's equivalent to 48.77% of the total population (or 61.84% of the adult population).

An amazing achievement by our NHS staff, volunteers, scientists and vaccine producers.

Note: We must remember that the current vaccines thin use in the UK require two doses to complete the course, so there is no cause for complacency.

Vaccines are the best way for people to be protected from COVID-19 and have already saved thousands of lives, there is little doubt that the recent lockdown has contributed to the downward data trends.

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Back to today’s data in the UK, which indicate the sad fact that another 34 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19. While, transmission of the virus continues to be at a high level with 2,596 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

It is also worth noting here, the average number of new coronavirus infections, and of deaths due to the virus, reported in the last 28 days of Covid-19 data: average (28-day) reported daily numbers of coronavirus infections (3,819) and the average (28-day) reported daily number of coronavirus deaths (43).

Latest health care data indicate that 2,291 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 14 April), and 329 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 15 April) – a continuing concern for our NHS.

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 16 April 2021:

(previous day’s figures and change in brackets)

  • 2,596 positive tests in the last 24 hours (↘️ -76 on yesterday’s data)
  • 204 hospital admissions as of 12 April (↗️ +3), since last data report on 11 April)
  • 2,291 hospital in-patients as of 14 April (↘️ -102, since last data report on 13 April)
  • 329 patients on ventilation beds as of 15 April (↘️ -22, since last data report on 14 April)
  • 34 deaths in the last 24 hours (↗️ +4 on yesterday’s data)
  • 4,383,732 total positive cases since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
  • 127,225 total deaths – within 28 days of first positive test result (for COVID-19 reported up to 16 April 2021)
14-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Graph showing key data as trendlines as of 16 April 2021.

There appears to be some debate about how many people need to be vaccinated for the UK to achieve ‘population immunity’. The British Society of Immunology has published a useful report on this aspect. The number required for population immunity being deduced by mathematical formula. For SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine efficacies of around 95% there have been estimates of between 63-75% of people needing to be immune to provide population immunity.

Given the report above (as mentioned yesterday), and the continuing debate about levels of immunity required, the data that is being reported here will now refer to vaccination percentages in terms of the ‘total UK population’ and include the ‘population of adults aged 18 and above’ for reference.

People vaccinated: (up to and including 15 April 2021)

  • 32,574,221 first doses 💉 (↗️ +129,782) – 61.84% of UK adults, or 48.77% of the total UK population.
  • 8,931,547 fully vaccinated 💉 (↗️ +417,683) – 16.96% of UK adults, or 13.37% of the total UK population.

People vaccinated in the UK (up to and including 15 April 2021).

Estimated ®️ number: (as of 16 April 2021)

  • England: Between 0.7 and 1

New infections and deaths in the last 28 days:

  • 106,935 new cases in total 🦠
  • 1,200 deaths in total

Days since:

  • 442 days since the first reported UK case
  • 406 days since the first reported UK death

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes: 150,419 – Registered up to Friday 2 April 2021.

These data, and trends, are shared to focus some light on the situation. 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 16 April 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]