10 further deaths due to Covid-19 reported in 24 hours and 3,542 new coronavirus infections. 19,412 new cases in 7 days, the highest 7-day total since 13 April 2021. The B.1.617.2 variant very much in the ascendancy, Dr Joe Pajak writes.

First published in May 2021.


As of 27 May 2021, 483 days since the presence of the SARS-CoV2 virus was first reported in Britain, it has since this time infected 4,473,677 people in the UK (according to reported positive cases) and caused at least 127,758 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, 38,614,683 people have received a first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 in the UK, while 24,043,956 people are now fully vaccinated.

The details.

Today’s data in the UK indicate sadly that 10 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 3,542 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 (2,354) and the average (28-day) reported daily number of coronavirus deaths (9).

The 14-day cumulative number of infections reported has increased by 17.61% in the past 14 days from 30,202 to 35,519 (i.e. 14-day totals, from 14 May 2021 to 27 May 2021). The 7-day cumulative equivalent being an increase of 20.5%.

The government says this is a race between the vaccine and the virus, in many ways it is, however we surely shouldn’t be considering opening up ‘restrictions’ any further? The data is already ringing alarm bells, warning the government that its roadmap exit from lockdown appears already to have gone too far. And while the observational studies indicate a positive level of effectiveness of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, the data needs to be treated with some caution.

Why? Two key reasons: one being that the current evidence appears to be from an ‘observational’ study; the second being a concern that more emphasis should perhaps be placed on ‘confidence intervals’, rather than ‘point’ estimates for effectiveness? As reported in the paper by Jamie Lopez Bernal, et al., Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the B.1.617.2 variant, the effectiveness of the ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine (the AstraZeneca vaccine) against variant B.1.617.2 was given as 59.8% (28.9% to 77.3%).

Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the B.1.617.2 variant (Preprint) | khub.net

Importantly the report concludes that, “Our findings would support maximising vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable groups in the context of circulation of B.1.617.2.”

Across the UK cases of the B.1.617.2 variant have grown significantly.

Latest health care data indicate that 916 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds (as of 25 May), and 125 patients are requiring intensive care support (as of 26 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 27 May 2021:

(previous figures and changes in brackets)

  • 3,542 positive tests in the last 24 hours (↗️+362 on yesterday’s data)
  • 112 hospital admissions as of 23 May (↘️-3 since last data report on 22 May)
  • 916 hospital in-patients as of 25 May (↘️-38 since last data report on 24 May)
  • 125 patients on ventilation beds as of 26 May (↘️-3 since last data report on 25 May)
  • 10 deaths in the last 24 hours (↗️+1 since yesterday)

  • 4,473,677 total positive cases (recorded) since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
  • 127,758 total deaths – number recorded within 28 days of first positive test result (for COVID-19 reported up to 27 May 2021)

7-Day UK COVID-19 Data – Graph showing key data as trendlines as of 27 May 2021.

People vaccinated: (up to and including 26 May 2021)

  • 💉38,614,683 first doses (↗️+236,119)
    📈 73.31% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 57.81% of UK population
  • 💉24,043,956 fully vaccinated (↗️+427,458)
    📈 45.65% of UK adults (18+)
    📈 36.00% 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:

  • 65,909 new cases in total 🦠
  • 256 deaths in total

Days since:

  • 483 days since the first reported UK case
  • 447 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 27 May 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]