Responding to weekly data published today by the ONS on COVID-19 related deaths, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said:
“While there are early signs that we could be passing the peak in new cases, the COVID emergency is far from over, with the disease accounting for more than two in five deaths in England and Wales – the highest proportion of all deaths since the pandemic started. According to the ONS, the total death count has now passed 100,000 people in the UK.
“As we approach the anniversary of the first two positive cases of COVID-19 being identified in England, this is a grim new milestone in what our country has been through in the last year, and as we have been warned, things are likely to get worse before they get better in the coming weeks.
“The NHS is doing everything it can to care for its patients, but it is under huge pressure, and the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 is nearly double what it was in the spring. It’s crucial that the national lockdown is only eased when the evidence shows cases have come right down and that we get absolute certainty on the future supply of vaccines.”