7 more deaths due to Covid-19 reported in 24 hours, together with 2,412 new coronavirus infections. A total of 15,478 new cases in 7 days. With the B.1.617.2 variant spreading like wildfire across the country, this surge has the potential to become an exponential crisis, Dr Joe Pajak writes.


First published in May 2021.


Today’s data in the UK indicate sadly that 7 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19. Transmission of the virus continues to be at a relatively high level with 2,412 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

It is worth noting 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 (2,209) and the average (28-day) reported daily number of coronavirus deaths (14).


While the 7-day rolling average case numbers have dropped today, the 14-day rolling average has increased by 3.75% in the past 14 days from 30,238 to 31,373.

Now some 474 days since the SARS-CoV2 virus first arrived in Britain, and 4,450,392 positive cases later, the borders still appear porous. It does not seem sensible that non-essential, international travel is being allowed. Especially given the worrying upwards trend in reported cases of the B.1.617.2 variant, originally detected in India.

Latest health care data indicate that 932 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 16 May), and 125 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 17 May) – remaining a continuing concern for our National Health Service.


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 18 May 2021:

(previous day’s figures and change in brackets)

  • 2,412 positive tests in the last 24 hours (↗️+433 on yesterday’s data)
  • 116 hospital admissions as of 12 May (↗️+13 since last data report on 11 May)
  • 932 hospital in-patients as of 16 May (↘️-59 since last data report on 13 May)
  • 125 patients on ventilation beds as of 17 May (↗️+1 since last data report which was on 14 May)
  • 7 deaths in the last 24 hours (↗️+2 since yesterday)

  • 4,450,392 total positive cases since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020 (official adjustment downwards made today – see footnotes)
  • 127,691 total deaths – within 28 days of first positive test result (for COVID-19 reported up to 18 May 2021)
7-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Graph showing key data as trendlines as of 18 May 2021.

People vaccinated: (up to and including 17 May 2021)

  • 💉36,811,405 first doses (↗️+106,733)
    📈 69.89% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 55.11% of UK population
  • 💉20,546,452 fully vaccinated (↗️+259,049)
    📈 39.01% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 30.76% of UK population

Estimated ®️ number: (as of 14 May 2021)

  • 0.8 to 1.1
  • Latest growth rate range for England -3% to +1%

An R value between 0.8 and 1.0 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.
A growth rate of between -3% and 0% means that the number of new infections is broadly flat or shrinking by up to 3% every day.

State of the UK epidemic:
To better understand the state of the epidemic in the UK, the UK government recommend “focusing on indicators for the 4 nations of the UK individually, rather than an average value across the UK.” Estimates of the R value and growth rate for different nations can be found via this link.

New infections and deaths in the last 28 days:

  • 61,863 new cases in total 🦠
  • 386 deaths in total

Days since:

  • 474 days since the first reported UK case
  • 438 days since the first reported UK death

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes: 151,904 – Registered up to Friday 7 May 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:





18 May 2021 – Revision to historical case data in England

  • The introduction of a new system disrupted the removal of cases where a positive rapid lateral flow test was followed by all negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests taken within 3 days. These 4,776 cases have now been removed. Newly-reported cases for the UK and England were unaffected. Historical published date totals have not been changed.
  • Newly-reported cases at regional and local authority level within England are calculated as the daily change in the total number of cases. This means that for 18 May 2021, these show significantly lower numbers or zero, and do not reflect the actual number of new cases reported on that date. Details of the changes and numbers of newly reported cases for 18 May 2021 are available in csv (wide format) and csv (long format).


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 an NHS foundation trust hospital.






[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 18 May 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]