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There have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and around 46,000 people have died, government figures show. However, these numbers only include people tested, and the actual death toll is higher.

Here we a take a look at some of the key figures of the pandemic in the UK – estimates of the death toll and number of cases. You can also find out more about cases in your area using our search tool and map.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

Public Health England figures on coronavirus cases were updated on 2 July to include people tested in the wider community, as well as hospitals and healthcare workers, causing the numbers to increase sharply. Figures for the rest of the UK already included people tested in the wider population.





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Slow rise in new cases amid concern over hotspots

The new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths only began to increase significantly by the second half of March.

Lockdown restrictions came into force across the UK at the end of that month and the number of new confirmed cases continued to rise until April, before starting to fall steadily throughout May and June.

However, following some easing of those restrictions, confirmed cases are now starting to rise again and the further relaxation of rules in England planned for 1 August has been postponed for at least two weeks.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said government had to “squeeze that brake pedal… in order to keep the virus under control.”

While levels of infection are far below their peak, the most recent seven-day average for confirmed cases in the UK is 753 – a rise of 24% since 17 July. On Friday, a further 880 new cases were reported.

However, separate figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released on Friday suggest the number of infections could be higher.

A sample of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals, which were swabbed to test for current infection, suggest cases have risen from an estimated 2,800 to 4,200 since last week.

The ONS’s estimates of daily cases are higher than those reported by the Department of Health and Social Care because they include people without symptoms who would not otherwise have applied for a test.

Several countries across Europe have reported a recent rise in cases, sparking concern of a similar resurgence of the disease in the UK. Spain has seen a particularly sharp rise.

Since some of the UK’s March lockdown rules began to be relaxed, a number of local outbreaks have been identified, with geographically-specific restrictions imposed.

Millions of people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire were facing new restrictions from Friday, which ban separate households from meeting each other in private homes or gardens.

Oldham in Greater Manchester has been a particular focus for concern, with cases rising significantly in the last few weeks.



Areas included in announcement

Cases per 100,000 people

One of the first areas to face localised lockdown measures was Leicester at the end of June, and although non-essential shops there were told last Friday they could reopen, people are still being urged not to leave their homes just to go shopping.

Public Health England has produced a coronavirus watchlist of areas, based on an assessment of incidence rates, and other indicators such as trends in testing, local responses and plans, healthcare activity and mortality.

Decline in daily deaths has slowed

While the number of new cases of coronavirus appears to be rising again, government-announced deaths have continued to drop since a peak in mid-April, though the downward trend has slowed recently.

On Friday, a further 120 deaths were reported, up from 38 on Thursday.

The latest figures are published on the government’s coronavirus dashboard – although a review is taking place into the way deaths from coronavirus are counted in England.

Public Health England have confirmed that reported deaths may have included people who tested positive months before they died. Other UK nations include only those who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.

The majority of the UK’s deaths have been in England, with just over 41,000 so far.

Four further deaths were reported in Wales on Friday. There were no new deaths in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Overall death toll could be more than 60,000

When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count such deaths in three different ways.

Public Health England counts the deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus, providing the government with a figure it announces each 24 hours.

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes weekly updates using two other measures.

The first includes all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus. The latest figures using this measure suggest there had been more than 55,000 deaths by 17 July.

The ONS also looks at all UK deaths over and above the number usually expected for the time of year – known as excess deaths. The latest figures for this measure show the death toll was just under 64,000 up to 17 July.

In recent weeks, figures used in this third measure have actually been falling.

This is because the number of deaths from all causes registered in a single week – including coronavirus – has now stayed below the five-year average for four weeks in a row.

Figures released by the ONS on Thursday show that England had the highest levels of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February and the middle of June.

Some areas of Spain and Italy were harder hit than UK cities. But ONS analysis shows the epidemic in the UK was more widespread than in other countries. Scotland saw the third highest death rate in Europe – behind England and Spain. Wales was in fifth place and Northern Ireland in eighth.

The government has argued it is too soon to make definitive international comparisons but, as the impact of the first wave becomes clear in many countries, analysis is beginning to suggest the UK has been the hardest hit of the leading G7 nations.

What is the R number in the UK?

The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

The current estimate by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as Sage, for the R number across the whole of the UK is between 0.8 and 0.9 as of 31 July.

The estimate for England is between 0.8 and 1.0, while for Scotland it is between 0.6 and 0.9. In Northern Ireland it is 0.5-0.9, while it is 0.6-0.9 in Wales.

While the government has said in the past that the R number is one of the most important factors in deciding when lockdown measures can be eased, it now says these estimates do not fully represent current infection levels.

The latest estimated R number released on Friday represented “the transmission of Covid-19 from several weeks ago due to a time delay between someone being infected and needing healthcare”, the Government Office for Science said.

More recent data suggested a higher R for England, the government added.

The ONS believes there is now enough evidence to suggest a “slight” increase in new infections in England in recent weeks, for the first time since May.

This increase is nowhere near the levels seen earlier in the year, however.


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