Iain Dale 10am - 1pm
Number of Covid-19 patients dying in England highest since May
22 October 2020, 21:29 | Updated: 22 October 2020, 21:30
The number of patients dying in England with Covid-19 has reached the highest level since the end of May, according to recent figures.
On Thursday, a further 189 people in the UK died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, taking the national death toll to 44,347.
This represents a slight decrease from the 191 registered on Wednesday.
But on 17 October, in England alone, there were 117 deaths recorded, according to NHS England.
This was the highest number for a single day since 29 May, when 117 deaths also took place.
The total for 17 October is likely to rise even higher, once post-mortem tests are completed for all the deaths that occurred on that date.
Of that day's tally, 45 were in the North West, with 10 recorded by Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
A further 30 were in the North East and Yorkshire, while 25 were in the Midlands - including five for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
By contrast just seven of the deaths were in the South West, six in the East, and two in both London and the rest of South East.
At the peak of the first wave of coronavirus, 900 Covid-19 deaths occurred in hospitals in England on a single day on 8 April.
All figures refer to patients who died in hospitals in England and had tested positive for Covid-19, as of 4pm 21 October.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, opening a general debate on Covid-19 in the Commona, told MPs: "The fight is not over and the virus continues to spread, and cases and hospitalisations and tragically deaths are all rising.
"Yesterday we learned Liverpool hospital trust is now treating more Covid patients than at the peak in April.
"And across the UK, the number of deaths has doubled in under the fortnight.
"And yet, just as the situation we face is grave, so too is hope of a solution growing.
"And with every day my confidence in the ingenuity of science to bring resolution grows, but until that moment we must have resolve."
However, Mr Hancock also said deaths are normal for this time of year because deaths from other causes are lower.
The Government said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 21,242 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
It brings the total number of cases in the country to 810,467.