UK records highest Covid death toll since mid-March

3 August 2021, 18:01

The number of Covid deaths reported on Tuesday was the highest since mid-March
The number of Covid deaths reported on Tuesday was the highest since mid-March. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The UK has reported its highest daily death toll from coronavirus since March 17.

The Government said a further 138 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 129,881.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 155,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

However, daily deaths are still well below any of the previous peaks despite cases being high, showing how the vaccination programme has weakened the link between infections and fatalities.

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Whilst the number of daily deaths has reached a four-month high, cases have been stabilising and figures on Monday suggested the third wave of hospital admissions in England may have peaked.

Professor Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia said: "The fact that hospital admissions are now falling provides further evidence that the decline in cases in the last couple of weeks was real and not due to an artefact from changing testing or people deleting the NHS Covid app, as some have suggested."

He explained that because of a delay between people catching Covid, becoming seriously ill and dying from it, it would "take another week or so before we see any impact on reported deaths".

Jamie Jenkins, former head of health statistics at the Office for National Statistics, said that the nation could be “over the edge” of the third wave of Covid-19.

Speaking to LBC’s Tom Swarbrick on Tuesday, Mr Jenkins said: "(Cases) in England and Wales have been coming down since July 19, the cases have been falling for a couple of weeks there, then you get that time-lag effect when cases start coming down you get, around five or six days later, you start seeing hospital admissions come down, and then you start seeing deaths come down.

"I think looking at the data, we normally see deaths peaking around 14 days after cases come down, I think we might start being over the hill now when it comes to deaths."

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Mr Jenkins added: "We probably are over the edge of the wave at the moment but let's have a bit of caution as we go into the autumn period."

He said that hospital admissions were around 80 per cent lower than what they would have been in the past and deaths were 90 per cent lower, adding: "The vaccine effect has kicked in as well - if you look at the same number of cases to what we had in the winter, it would have been 800 deaths rather than 65-70."

Other data released on Monday showed there had been a further 21,691 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, representing a 20 per cent decline over the past seven days.

It is the lowest reported figure since late June.

Data also showed that more than 150,000 vaccines were administered on Monday, most of which were second doses.

It means that almost three quarters of the UK have been fully vaccinated.