Decline In COVID Deaths Reassuring But We Must Not Rush To Finish Line

The UK has announced zero daily Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020.

The latest figures also reported another 3,165 new cases, compared with 3,383 on Monday and 2,493 one week ago.

The death rate has been steadily falling, between Weeks 19 and 20, the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in care homes (5 fewer), hospitals (30 fewer) and private homes (9 fewer). There were 4 deaths in other locations, the same as in Week 19. Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals fell to 1.6% in Week 20 (2.2% in Week 19). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 1.1% of all deaths in care homes, an decrease from Week 19 (1.3%).

Commenting on the latest mortality figures published by the ONS, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:

“The fall in the number of deaths from COVID-19 is reassuring – but the race is not yet won, and it is imperative these figures do not change direction. The evidence shows rising infections associated with COVID-19 variants, which is particularly concerning as some people have not yet had their first or second vaccinations. Given predictions of a summer wave of infections, the government must now use all available data to consider carefully whether 21 June is the right date for lifting all restrictions.

“It is of real concern that cases are climbing quickly, and our members are increasingly worried that this will lead to more hospital admissions. The more people with COVID-19, the more impact there will be on recovering other services – including the huge backlog of elective treatment.

“If this roadmap is truly to lead us to recovery, the government must consider all options, including slowing the pace of lifting the last elements of lockdown. We have come a long way, thanks to public adherence to restrictions and to the vaccination programme, but slow and steady will win this race – rushing to the finish line could backfire.”