9 further deaths due to Covid-19 reported in 24 hours and 3,180 new coronavirus infections. 18,744 new cases in 7 days, the highest 7-day total since 14 April 2021. Confused – if not chaotic – government messaging underlines the current situation, Dr Joe Pajak writes.

First published in May 2021.


As of 26 May 2021, 482 days since the presence of the SARS-CoV2 virus was first reported in Britain, it has since this time infected 4,470,297 people in the UK (according to reported positive cases) and caused at least 127,748 deaths (within 28 days of first positive test result); while official data indicate 152,068 deaths in total, where the deceased person’s death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes, registered up to 14 May 2021, according to Public Health England (PHE).

As of data reported on 24 May 2021, 38,378,564 people have received a first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 in the UK, while 23,616,498 people are now fully vaccinated.

The details.

Today’s data in the UK indicate sadly that 9 further deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19. Transmission of the virus is of particular concern, with a further 3,180 new infections 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 (2,315) and the average (28-day) reported daily number of coronavirus deaths (10).

The 14-day cumulative number of infections reported has increased by 13.97% in the past 14 days from 30,390 to 34,634 (i.e. 14-day totals, from 13 May 2021 to 26 May 2021).

Across the UK, the worrying upwards trend in reported cases of the B.1.617.2 variant continues to gather momentum. While confused, if not chaotic, government messaging about ‘local’ restrictions have been unhelpful.

Latest health care data indicate that 954 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 24 May), and 128 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 25 May) – 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 26 May 2021:

(previous figures and changes in brackets)

  • 3,180 positive tests in the last 24 hours (↗️+687 on yesterday’s data)
  • 115 hospital admissions as of 22 May (↘️-8 since last data report on 19 May)
  • 954 hospital in-patients as of 24 May (↘️-24 since last data report on 23 May)
  • 128 patients on ventilation beds as of 24 May (↗️+7 since last data report on 25 May)
  • 9 deaths in the last 24 hours (↘️-6 since yesterday)

  • 4,470,297 total positive cases (recorded) since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
  • 127,748 total deaths – number recorded within 28 days of first positive test result (for COVID-19 reported up to 26 May 2021)

7-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Graph showing key data as trendlines as of 26 May 2021.

People vaccinated: (up to and including 25 May 2021)

  • 💉38,378,564 first doses (↗️+186,147)
    📈 72.86% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 57.46% of UK population
  • 💉23,616,498 fully vaccinated (↗️+387,987)
    📈 44.84% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 35.36% of UK population

Estimated ®️ number: (as of 21 May 2021)

  • 0.9 to 1.1
  • Latest growth rate range for England -2% to +1% per day

An R value between 0.9 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 11 other people. A growth rate of between -2% and 1% means that the number of new infections could be broadly flat, shrinking by up to 2% every day, or growing by up to 1% every day. These estimates represent the transmission of COVID-19 2 to 3 weeks ago, due to the time delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare.

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:

  • 64,812 new cases in total 🦠
  • 268 deaths in total

Days since:

  • 482 days since the first reported UK case
  • 446 days since the first reported UK death

The total number of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes: 152,068 – Registered up to Friday 14 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:

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 26 May 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]