UK coronavirus hospital death toll up by 97 in biggest Wednesday jump since June

UK coronavirus hospital death toll up by 97 in biggest Wednesday jump since June

 

The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has jumped by 97 – the highest increase on a Wednesday for four months.

England reported 68 new fatalities, Scotland had 15, Wales recorded 10 and Northern Ireland had four to bring the overall hospital count to 35,524.

It is down slightly from 101 fatalities on Tuesday, but it is the largest daily total on a Wednesday since 97 were announced on June 17.

By comparison, the death tolls on recent Wednesdays were 59 (October 7), 52 (September 30), 27 (September 23), 14 (September 16) and 12 (September 9).

The lowest increase announced on a Wednesday was 10 on September 2, while the highest was 936, which was set on April 8 when the UK was going through the first peak of its outbreak.

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Scotland (1,429), Northern Ireland (1,217) and Wales (964) set new record highs for the daily number of confirmed cases.

The figures were released as Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced mounting pressure to impose a “circuit breaker” national lockdown in England that would last at least a couple of weeks.

Mr Johnson did not rule out the possibility of a “circuit breaker” when he appeared at Prime Minister’s Questions, but insisted he wanted to avoid the “misery” of another national shutdown, just two days after revealing the new three-tier lockdown system.

Northern Ireland will go into a four-week “circuit breaker” on Friday – with pubs and restaurants closed except for takeaways and deliveries, and schools closed for two of those weeks – in a desperate bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.

NHS England, meanwhile, announced a further 68 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in hospitals in England to 30,662.

The latest victims were aged between 48 and 98, and all except four (aged between 65 and 93) had known underlying health conditions.

The North West had the highest number of deaths, while the lowest number was in the South West.

The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region:

North West – 25       

North East & Yorkshire – 16

London – 12

Midlands – 7 

East of England – 3

South East – 4

South West – 1    

Scotland recorded 15 deaths of coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she urged Scots against travelling to high-risk areas of England, including Blackpool.

This takes the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 2,572.


The First Minister said 1,429 people have tested positive in the past 24 hours.


This is 16.4% of newly-tested individuals, down from 17.2% the previous day.


She said 42,685 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 41,256 the day before.


Of the new cases, 537 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 327 in Lanarkshire, 239 in Lothian, and 92 in Ayrshire and Arran.


There are 570 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by 43 in 24 hours.


Of these patients, 49 were in intensive care, up by 14.

Half of the people reported in Wednesday’s Covid-19 death figures were under the age of 80 and a “small number” were under 60, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.


Ms Sturgeon warned that coronavirus affects people from all age groups.


She said: “Please do not ever think that this virus only poses a risk to the lives of the very elderly.


“It poses a risk to all of us and I’m asking everybody again to take and treat that risk extremely seriously.”

Public Health Wales said its toll increased by 10 to 1,688 fatalities.

There were 964 new confirmed cases, taking the total to 32,216.

The number of deaths in Northern Ireland increased by four to 602.

It also reported 1,217 new cases, bringing the total to 23,115.

Meanwhile, a two-week circuit-breaker in December could save thousands of lives in the short-term and allow the UK breathing space to control the Covid-19 epidemic, Government advisers have said.

Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said it may be too late to implement a two-week circuit-breaker over the October school half-term but December could be an option.

He and Matt Keeling, who advises the Government and is a professor of maths at the University of Warwick, said a short, sharp lockdown would enable Test and Trace to improve as well as ensuring NHS hospitals do not become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

Separately, scientists studying the efficacy of a short-term “circuit-breaker” lockdown have warned that it will not save lives in itself, but may prevent the NHS being overloaded.

Professor Matt Keeling, of the University of Warwick, told a webinar: “This gives us a chance to reset the level of infection – it takes us back to a time when cases were lower so it buys us more time to put other measures in place.”

He said it might also help other measures such as test and trace to have greater impact, but said the only way to save lives in the long-term is to bring down R rates.

“Action needs to be taken after the break to ensure we don’t return to the same situation we’ve got now – exponential growth.”

It came as new research found three-quarters of medics in urgent and acute care believe hospitals are not prepared to cope over the next six months.

The survey findings by the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) were released as a council leader in Liverpool warned the city’s intensive care units are currently more than 90% full and bed occupancy levels are soon expected to reach those seen during the first wave of Covid-19.

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