UK passes 400,000 total coronavirus infections with rise of 4,926 in a day

Another 29 people have died of Covid-19 in England and Scotland, officials announced today as separate figures revealed that the number of weekly deaths has risen for the first time since April. 

NHS England confirmed the deaths of another 28 infected patients, while the Scottish Government recorded one more person had succumbed to the life-threatening disease. None were registered in Wales and Northern Ireland. Health chiefs will declare the final daily tally later this afternoon. 

It comes as Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published today showed that 99 people in England and Wales were killed by the coronavirus in the week ending September 11, up from 78 a week earlier.

Although still the second lowest number of registered deaths since March, the 27 per cent rise in a week shows a change in the downward trend that lasted for 20 weeks. Deaths had fallen every week since April 17, three weeks after the lockdown was imposed.

The ONS count chimes with official numbers of deaths announced each day by the Department of Health, that the daily average began to rise again on September 7 from seven per day to 22 a day yesterday. All signs point to the virus rebounding in Britain and the UK’s coronavirus alert level was raised to four last night, meaning transmission of the virus is ‘high or rising exponentially’.

Boris Johnson today announced he is making the Army available to the police in order to boost enforcement of coronavirus rules as he unveiled a wave of new measures designed to stop the spread of the disease. The Prime Minister said the police will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up officers so more can go out and crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200.

The UK could see a crisis-level 50,000 cases a day by mid-October and 200 deaths per day in November if action isn’t taken soon to stem the rising tide of cases, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned yesterday. But scientists have since hit back at the claims — which saw Sir Patrick and Professor Chris Whitty compare the UK’s trajectory to Spain and France, saying neither country is anywhere close to 50,000 cases a day.

The ONS report did not commit to warning of a rise in Covid-19 deaths as it has with cases, but issued a caveat that the August bank holiday may have meant the previous week’s deaths were unrealistically low.

A separate report published by the ONS today found seven out of 10 working-age people who died of coronavirus between March and June had caught the illness before lockdown began, showing that all groups saw a drop in fatalities after restrictions were introduced. It also claimed there were only 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales — roughly a tenth of the total number of victims since the pandemic began.

In other coronavirus developments in Britain today: 

  • Sir Keir Starmer used his first Labour conference speech as leader to warn that a second national lockdown would be a ‘sign of Government failure, not an act of God’ that would take an ‘immense toll’ on public health and the economy;
  • Sir Keir also claimed the ‘incompetence’ of the Government is ‘is holding Britain back’ and that the ‘underfunding of the NHS’ and the ‘abandonment of social care’ by the Conservatives had meant the UK was not prepared for the pandemic;
  • Julian Knight, the Tory chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee, said without a ‘route map’ for getting spectators back to sports events ‘we risk decimation of our sporting and cultural infrastructure’;
  • Shares in some of Britain’s biggest pub chains felt the pinch following the announcement of the 10pm curfew as City Pub Group fell 6.6 per cent while Wetherspoons dropped 0.4 per cent;
  • Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething welcomed the UK Government’s decision to revert back to working from home as he said it was ‘a welcome shift… that matches our position’;
  • Tory peer Andrew Lloyd Webber warned that commercial theatre will not survive unless the Government ‘steps up to the plate’;
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the increase in coronavirus cases is ‘extremely difficult news for all of us and the whole country’ as he said the Bank ‘will do everying we can do… to support the businesses and people of this country’.

As well as deaths, cases are also rising quickly. Britain yesterday recorded another 4,368 coronavirus cases as government data showed the number of daily infections has now doubled in a fortnight. 

Department of Health figures show slightly fewer than 4,000 new infections are now being recorded each day, on average — up 31 per cent from the figure of 2,998 last Monday. Statistics also show the rolling seven-day average jumped 48 per cent before that, from 2,032 on September 7. 

MOST WORKING AGE ADULTS WHO DIED OF COVID-19 ‘CAUGHT IT BEFORE LOCKDOWN’ 

Seven out of 10 coronavirus deaths of working age adults between March 9 and June 30 were likely caused by an infection caught before lockdown, figures show.

There were 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of these, 72 per cent (3,839), occurred on or before April 25 and the person probably caught the virus before lockdown, which started on March 23.

The ONS’s assumption is based on evidence that the maximum time from infection to symptom onset is 14 days, and there are around 20 days on average from symptom onset to death.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in men working in health and social care were around three times higher if the virus was thought to have been acquired before lockdown than if it was caught during the period.

For female health and social care professionals, deaths rates were around two times higher for those likely to have contracted the virus pre-lockdown. 

The lockdown was linked to significantly lower rates of death involving coronavirus in all occupation groups, when compared with rates seen before lockdown.

Men working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 during the lockdown.

After restrictions were introduced, there were 81.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 32.5 per 100,000 of other working age males. 

Working women had ‘far fewer’ deaths than men, but those working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had higher rates of death both pre- and post-lockdown, compared with women of the same age in the general population.

There were 31.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 17.5 per 100,000 working age women.

This can largely be explained by the high rate of carers and home carers, who would be likely to have continued during the lockdown and not been able to work from home, therefore possibly increasing the risk of infection, it said.

The ONS report said: ‘During the pandemic, some occupations, such as health and social care professions, have continued to work in proximity to others; this is a factor that may explain the generally higher rates seen among such occupations.’ 

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Government statistics also reveal an average 22 Britons are now succumbing to the illness daily, up from 12 last Monday and eight the week before that, meaning the rate has almost trebled in a fortnight.

By contrast, more than 1,000 laboratory-confirmed fatalities were being announced each day during the peak of the first wave.

And 204 people with Covid-19 were admitted to hospital in England for NHS treatment on Saturday, meaning the average number of admissions has tripled from 65 to 187 in a fortnight. But the number of newly-infected patients requiring hospital care across the country was around 3,000 in March and April. 

The ONS report’s increased number of death registrations showed that the number had risen for the first time since the week of April 17.

On that date five months ago it was soaring, from 6,213 by April 10 to the all-time peak of 8,758, when people were dying at a rate of almost one a minute.

ONS data counts the number of people who have died of Covid-19 by trawling through death certificate records to look for mentions of the disease.

It includes anyone who had a suspected case of the disease, as well as those who actually tested positive. The Department of Health only counts positive-tested patients.

As a result, the ONS’s estimate of the total number of people to have died from the disease is considerably higher.

It today puts the figure at 49,869 in England alone, while the Department of Health counts 36,999 who died within a month of diagnosis, or 40,923 within two months.

ONS experts show that there have this year been 53,376 more deaths than would normally be expected in England and Wales, known as ‘excess deaths’.

The vast majority of these, it is understood, can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic in some form. Even if people have not been directly killed by the virus they may have missed life-saving medical care during lockdown, for example.

Throughout the UK there are estimated to have been 59,281 excess deaths during the pandemic, many of which are likely to be Covid-19 deaths. This number may fall as coronavirus deaths remain low and fatalities from other causes are lower than usual.

Today’s report from the ONS showed that deaths of all causes are now 5.4 per cent above the five-year average for the time of year.

Hospital deaths remain lower than usual (371 fewer than normal) but there are more people than usual dying at home (830 above average).

Experts have raised concerns in the past that this could be because people have avoided medical care during the crisis and become more seriously ill and died at home. Care home fatalities were also above average (57 more than usual) for the week to September 13.

Today’s report comes amid grave concerns that the virus is slipping out of the Government’s control again now that the numbers of officially-recorded cases, hospitalisations and deaths are rising again.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a public TV briefing tonight when he is expected to confirm that pubs and restaurants in England will no longer be allowed to open past 10pm, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus among young adults.

AREAS WITH THE MOST COVID-19 DEATHS (TOTAL)

  1. Birmingham (1,237)
  2. Leeds (723)
  3. County Durham (711)
  4. Sheffield (589)
  5. Liverpool (587)
  6. Cheshire East (559)
  7. Bradford (521)
  8. Croydon (497)
  9. Brent (493)
  10. Barnet (459)
  11. Wirral (445)
  12. Manchester (429)
  13. Cheshire West and Chester (416)
  14. Ealing (415)
  15. Buckinghamshire (410)
  16. Harrow (402)
  17. Walsall (396)
  18. Enfield (393)
  19. Cardiff (389)
  20. Stockport (386)
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AREAS WITH THE FEWEST COVID-19 DEATHS (TOTAL) 

  1. Isles of Scilly (0)
  2. City of London (4)
  3. Ceredigion (7)
  4. Hastings (11)
  5. South Hams (12)
  6. Mid Devon (19)
  7. West Devon (19)
  8. Torridge (20)
  9. West Lindsey (23)
  10. Rutland (24)
  11. Norwich (25)
  12. North Devon (26)
  13. Ribble Valley (27)
  14. Lincoln (28)
  15. Mendip (29)
  16. Ryedale (32)
  17. Teignbridge (33)
  18. Melton (33)
  19. Isle of Anglesey (34)
  20. North East Lincolnshire (35)
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BORIS BRINGS IN THE ARMY TO ENFORCE RESTRICTIONS

Boris Johnson today announced he is making the Army available to the police in order to boost enforcement of coronavirus rules as he unveiled a wave of new measures designed to stop the spread of the disease.

The Prime Minister said the police will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up officers so more can go out and crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200.

Mr Johnson said the UK is at a ‘perilous turning point’ in the fight against the virus as he imposed a 10pm curfew on all restaurants, bars and pubs across the country from Thursday with the hospitality sector also being restricted to table service only.

A requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings, except for when they are seated at a table to eat or drink.

Mr Johnson said that ‘unless we palpably make progress’ in the coming weeks then the measures announced this lunchtime ‘will remain in place for perhaps six months’ – comments which appear to effectively kill off any hopes of a normal Christmas.

He also announced the end of the Government’s back to work drive as he said he is now ‘asking office workers who can work from home to do so’.

The Government has been actively encouraging workers to ditch working from home and today’s U-turn represents a humiliating climbdown for the PM who earlier this month had told his Cabinet that ‘people are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too’.

The decision to urge workers to work from home is likely to spark dire warnings about the future of struggling town and city centres as business groups immediately demanded the Government extend its furlough scheme which is due to close at the end of October.

The PM also said that if the new plans fail to get the disease under control then he ‘reserves the right to deploy greater fire power’.

Plans for a partial return of sports fans to stadiums from October 1 have also been ‘paused’ while the number of people allowed to attend weddings is being reduced to 15 from Monday. Exemptions to the rule of six are also being reduced, banning indoor team sport such as five-a-side football matches.

Despite the PM’s new measures there are growing concerns that the Government could soon move to impose stricter restrictions on socialising which go even further than the current rule of six. That could mean a ban on households mixing inside.

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A separate report published today by the ONS claimed that seven out of 10 coronavirus deaths of working age adults between March 9 and June 30 were likely caused by an infection caught before lockdown.

There were 5,330 deaths involving 20 to 64-year-olds in England and Wales, the report said.

Of these, 72 per cent (3,839), occurred on or before April 25 and the person probably caught the virus before lockdown, which started on March 23.

The ONS’s assumption is based on evidence that the maximum time from infection to symptom onset is 14 days, and there are around 20 days on average from symptom onset to death.

Rates of death involving Covid-19 in men working in health and social care were around three times higher if the virus was thought to have been acquired before lockdown than if it was caught during the period.

For female health and social care professionals, deaths rates were around two times higher for those likely to have contracted the virus pre-lockdown. 

The lockdown was linked to significantly lower rates of death involving coronavirus in all occupation groups, when compared with rates seen before lockdown.

Men working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 during the lockdown.

After restrictions were introduced, there were 81.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 32.5 per 100,000 of other working age males. 

Working women had ‘far fewer’ deaths than men, but those working in caring, leisure and other service occupations had higher rates of death both pre- and post-lockdown, compared with women of the same age in the general population.

There were 31.3 deaths per 100,000 in these occupations, compared with 17.5 per 100,000 working age women.

This can largely be explained by the high rate of carers and home carers, who would be likely to have continued during the lockdown and not been able to work from home, therefore possibly increasing the risk of infection, it said.

The ONS report said: ‘During the pandemic, some occupations, such as health and social care professions, have continued to work in proximity to others; this is a factor that may explain the generally higher rates seen among such occupations.’ 

It came as Sir Patrick Vallance yesterday warned the UK faces 50,000 new daily cases of coronavirus by the middle of October if the spread of the disease is not brought under control and infections continue to double every seven days. 

But scientists last night eased fears that Britain is hurtling towards the milestone, insisting that neither Spain or France have reached those sky-high levels, even though the Government fears the UK is on track to follow their trajectories.

Top scientists believe more than 100,000 cases were actually occurring daily during the darkest days of Britain’s crisis in March and April. 

And other experts believe the dreaded second wave won’t prove as deadly as the first because doctors have become better at treating the disease. 

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE REALLY DIED OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE UK?

Department of Health: 41,788

The Department of Health’s latest death count for all settings (as of September 22) stands at 41,788.

The data, counted daily, is a record of how many people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus. This was a new time limit set by the Department of Health after it emerged Public Health England had been over-counting by including people regardless of how long after a test they died, and regardless of what they died of.

It also only takes into account patients who tested positive for the virus, not suspected cases.

National statistical bodies: 57,601

Data compiled by the statistical bodies of each of the home nations show 57,601 people died of either confirmed or suspected Covid-19 across the UK by mid-September.

The Office for National Statistics confirmed that 52,482 people in England and Wales died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 by September 11.

The number of coronavirus deaths was 883 by the same date in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

National Records Scotland — which collects statistics north of the border — said 4,236 people had died across the country by September 13. 

Excess deaths: 59,281

 The total number of excess deaths across the UK is estimated at 59,281, as of September 13. 

Excess deaths are considered to be an accurate measure of the number of people killed by the pandemic because they include a broader spectrum of victims.

As well as including people who may have died with Covid-19 without ever being tested, the data also shows how many more people died because their medical treatment was postponed, for example, or who didn’t or couldn’t get to hospital when they were seriously ill.

Data from England and Wales shows there has been an extra 53,376 deaths so far this year, as well as 5,023 in Scotland and 882 in Northern Ireland.

Excess deaths is the only measure that can – and is likely to – go down over time, because when Covid-19 deaths are low, lower numbers of deaths from other causes can cause the number to fall. 

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HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE UK? (ONS data ranked highest to lowest) 
Area Deaths Area Deaths Area Deaths Area Deaths
Birmingham 1,237 Tower Hamlets 188 Chorley 117 Mid Suffolk 78
Leeds 723 Westminster 188 Wyre Forest 117 Oxford 77
County Durham 711 Bedford 184 Cherwell 116 Eastbourne 76
Sheffield 589 Epping Forest 184 Wrexham 116 Harlow 76
Liverpool 587 Hertsmere 182 South Derbyshire 115 Broxbourne 76
Cheshire East 559 Reigate and Banstead 182 Elmbridge 115 Bassetlaw 76
Bradford 521 Ashford 181 High Peak 113 Hambleton 74
Croydon 497 Sutton 180 Welwyn Hatfield 113 Rugby 74
Brent 493 Swindon 174 Colchester 112 Monmouthshire 74
Barnet 459 Tendring 172 Havant 112 South Kesteven 73
Wirral 445 Hammersmith and Fulham 172 Hartlepool 111 Tamworth 73
Manchester 429 York 171 Slough 111 Runnymede 73
Cheshire West and Chester 416 South Gloucestershire 171 Winchester 111 Lancaster 72
Ealing 415 Mid Sussex 169 Wychavon 111 Broadland 72
Buckinghamshire 410 Southampton 168 Peterborough 110 Wellingborough 72
Harrow 402 Stratford-on-Avon 168 Portsmouth 108 Bracknell Forest 70
Walsall 396 Barking and Dagenham 168 Sevenoaks 108 Sedgemoor 70
Enfield 393 Reading 166 Kettering 108 Gwynedd 69
Cardiff 389 Brighton and Hove 166 Denbighshire 108 Craven 68
Stockport 386 Nuneaton and Bedworth 165 Erewash 107 Arun 68
Sandwell 378 South Tyneside 165 Hinckley and Bosworth 107 North West Leicestershire 67
Wiltshire 368 Thanet 164 Vale of Glamorgan 107 Torfaen 66
Wakefield 361 Newport 164 Gravesham 106 Merthyr Tydfil 66
Wigan 356 Camden 163 South Staffordshire 106 Copeland 65
Bromley 346 Dorset 162 Blackburn with Darwen 105 Burnley 65
Rotherham 339 East Staffordshire 162 Broxtowe 105 Hyndburn 64
Sunderland 338 North Tyneside 159 Mole Valley 105 Oadby and Wigston 64
Kirklees 334 Stockton-on-Tees 157 Tewkesbury 104 Blaenau Gwent 64
Tameside 333 Islington 155 Warwick 104 Uttlesford 63
Salford 332 Richmond upon Thames 154 North Lincolnshire 103 Harborough 63
Leicester 329 Wokingham 152 Neath Port Talbot 103 Worcester 63
Bolton 329 Chelmsford 152 Telford and Wrekin 102 South Cambridgeshire 62
Wolverhampton 324 North Somerset 151 Amber Valley 102 Redditch 61
Derby 321 South Lakeland 150 East Hertfordshire 101 Stevenage 60
East Riding of Yorkshire 320 Folkestone and Hythe 150 Conwy 101 Gosport 59
Hillingdon 316 Thurrock 149 Castle Point 99 South Holland 59
Dudley 315 Blackpool 148 Eastleigh 99 South Norfolk 59
Redbridge 314 Ashfield 147 Fareham 99 Babergh 59
Newham 310 Gloucester 146 East Northamptonshire 99 Torbay 58
Sefton 305 Knowsley 145 North Hertfordshire 98 Rother 58
Rhondda Cynon Taf 302 Flintshire 145 Fylde 97 Cotswold 58
Lewisham 294 North East Derbyshire 144 Guildford 96 South Northamptonshire 58
Lambeth 293 Canterbury 144 Spelthorne 95 South Somerset 58
Coventry 291 Newcastle-under-Lyme 144 Powys 95 Bolsover 56
Northumberland 283 King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 142 Rochford 94 East Lindsey 56
Central Bedfordshire 281 Waverley 141 South Ribble 94 North Norfolk 55
Northampton 281 Carlisle 140 Breckland 94 Rossendale 54
Solihull 279 St Albans 139 Bridgend 94 East Cambridgeshire 51
Havering 277 Cheltenham 137 Darlington 93 Richmondshire 51
Haringey 274 Bromsgrove 137 Tandridge 93 Malvern Hills 51
Oldham 270 Huntingdonshire 136 Bath and North East Somerset 92 East Devon 50
Doncaster 266 Preston 135 Plymouth 92 Corby 50
Shropshire 260 Redcar and Cleveland 134 Stroud 92 Hart 49
Southwark 255 Dover 134 Surrey Heath 90 Great Yarmouth 49
Bristol, City of 254 Caerphilly 134 Brentwood 89 Somerset West and Taunton 49
Barnsley 253 West Berkshire 133 North Warwickshire 89 Forest of Dean 48
Newcastle upon Tyne 253 New Forest 133 Three Rivers 88 North Kesteven 46
Waltham Forest 252 Kingston upon Thames 132 Rushcliffe 88 Selby 46
Trafford 251 Windsor and Maidenhead 131 Carmarthenshire 87 Eden 45
Bury 243 Halton 129 Isle of Wight 86 Pembrokeshire 42
Bexley 242 Herefordshire, County of 128 Chesterfield 86 Adur 40
Gateshead 240 Watford 128 Rushmoor 85 Exeter 39
Hounslow 240 Dacorum 127 Scarborough 85 North East Lincolnshire 35
Nottingham 239 Dartford 127 Tunbridge Wells 84 Maldon 35
Rochdale 238 Ipswich 127 Derbyshire Dales 83 Boston 35
Warrington 233 Kensington and Chelsea 127 East Hampshire 83 Isle of Anglesey 34
Hackney 230 Wealden 126 Cambridge 82 Teignbridge 33
Greenwich 228 Swale 126 Barrow-in-Furness 82 Melton 33
East Suffolk 222 Vale of White Horse 125 Blaby 82 Ryedale 32
Wandsworth 217 Charnwood 124 Chichester 82 Mendip 29
Kingston upon Hull, City of 216 Horsham 124 Fenland 81 Lincoln 28
Luton 215 Calderdale 124 Allerdale 81 Ribble Valley 27
Basildon 214 Gedling 122 Epsom and Ewell 81 North Devon 26
Southend-on-Sea 213 Braintree 121 West Suffolk 81 Norwich 25
Cornwall 210 West Oxfordshire 121 Pendle 80 Rutland 24
Harrogate 208 Lichfield 121 Cannock Chase 80 West Lindsey 23
Middlesbrough 206 Wyre 120 Worthing 80 Torridge 20
Medway 205 Stafford 120 Staffordshire Moorlands 79 Mid Devon 19
Merton 205 Test Valley 119 Woking 79 West Devon 19
Stoke-on-Trent 204 Maidstone 119 Crawley 79 South Hams 12
Swansea 204 West Lancashire 119 Tonbridge and Malling 78 Hastings 11
St. Helens 202 South Oxfordshire 119 Daventry 78 Ceredigion 7
Milton Keynes 200 Lewes 117 Mansfield 78 City of London 4
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 189 Basingstoke and Deane 117 Newark and Sherwood 78 Isles of Scilly 0

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