UK records no Covid deaths for first time since pandemic began

Hancock: Three-quarters of new Covid cases are Indian variant

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The whole country will be so glad there were no Covid-related deaths recorded. The vaccines are clearly working – protecting you, those around you. “Despite this undoubtedly good news, we know we haven’t beaten this virus yet and with cases continuing to rise please remember “hands, face, space” and let in fresh air when indoors.” There was a rise in Covid cases to 3,165 – up 27 percent from 2,493 on the previous Monday – which is causing concern in Government circles and among health officials. 

Some scientists continued to urge against a full reopening of society but latest research shows Covid levels were highest among children, who are highly unlikely to become seriously ill. 

Rates among the over60s were very low. Chris Hopson, chief executive of trusts organisation NHS Providers, said the zero death figure showed the country is turning the tide. 

Writing in the Daily Express, he said: “If we think back to last year, our entire landscape was different. 

“We did not yet have a vaccine to administer, our scientific knowledge on the virus was limited and trusts were quickly innovating and adapting to keep up.” 

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said it was “encouraging” to see deaths staying low. 

But she added that cases were rising and there were still people who had not had either one or both vaccine doses. 

Zero deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test were in fact reported last July 30. 

But that came before the definition used for counting deaths was later changed, in August. 

By the previous method, which did not use the 28-day cut-off, 38 deaths were announced at the time. Daily death tolls are usually lower at weekends and at the start of each week. 

King’s College London’s Dr Nathalie MacDermott, National Institute for Health Research academic clinical lecturer, said: “While zero daily Covid19 related deaths for the first time since March 2020.

is certainly something to be celebrated, we must remember that this follows a three-day bank holiday weekend during which time deaths may not have been formally reported or recorded. 

“However, what is apparent is the marked reduction in daily deaths from Covid-19 over the last couple of months.” 

She said the fall was “representative of the significant reduction in daily case numbers of infections over the last five months and the impact of the vaccination programme providing a level of protection to older and more vulnerable individuals”. 

Boris Johnson believes there is nothing in the data to suggest there needs to be a delay to the June 21 removal of the remaining lockdown restrictions, No 10 officials indicated.

The Government wants to “double jab” everyone over 50 or in a vulnerable group by the reopening date. 

The Prime Minister will continue to look at the data before giving a decision on June 14. 

Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, urged the Government to stick to the freedom timetable. 

He said there was no evidence to justify a delay and added that keeping restrictions is harming society. 

He continued: “We need to recognise the way in which levels of fear and anxiety in the population have been amplified over the last 15 months or so. We’ve got to look at the collateral damage in terms of untreated cancers, untreated heart conditions, all of the other things that people suffer from. 

“We’ve got to think about the impact of economic damage that would be caused by further periods of delay.” 

Prof Dingwall said the UK must learn to live with the virus and claimed “critics” who want to put back Freedom Day “can’t even agree on what delay they’d like”. Tory MPs urged the Government to stick to the roadmap, insisting “we need to open up”. 

Ex-Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday: “It appears the evidence shows, as we’ve seen today with zero deaths, that actually these vaccines are proving to be a very strong protection. So we need to stay with that [June 21 date].” 

Some scientists warned against opening up fully this month. Prof Adam Finn, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, claimed there are still many people vulnerable to the effects of Covid. 

He warned: “The idea that somehow the job is done is wrong.” 

Prof Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said a month’s delay “could have a big impact” on stopping the spread. While Pat Cullen, acting general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, urged against “an unchecked leap to freedom”.

Some scientists continued to urge against a full reopening of society but latest research shows Covid levels were highest among children, who are highly unlikely to become seriously ill. 

Rates among the over-60s were very low. Chris Hopson, chief executive of trusts organisation NHS Providers, said the zero death figure showed the country is turning the tide. 

Writing in the Daily Express, he said: “If we think back to last year, our entire landscape was different. 

“We did not yet have a vaccine to administer, our scientific knowledge on the virus was limited and trusts were quickly innovating and adapting to keep up.” 

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said it was “encouraging” to see deaths staying low. 

But she added that cases were rising and there were still people who had not had either one or both vaccine doses. 

Zero deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test were in fact reported last July 30. 

But that came before the definition used for counting deaths was later changed, in August. 

By the previous method, which did not use the 28-day cut-off, 38 deaths were announced at the time. Daily death tolls are usually lower at weekends and at the start of each week. 

King’s College London’s Dr Nathalie MacDermott, National Institute for Health Research academic clinical lecturer, said: “While zero daily Covid19 related deaths for the first time since March 2020.

is certainly something to be celebrated, we must remember that this follows a three-day bank holiday weekend during which time deaths may not have been formally reported or recorded. 

“However, what is apparent is the marked reduction in daily deaths from Covid-19 over the last couple of months.” 

She said the fall was “representative of the significant reduction in daily case numbers of infections over the last five months and the impact of the vaccination programme providing a level of protection to older and more vulnerable individuals”. 

Boris Johnson believes there is nothing in the data to suggest there needs to be a delay to the June 21 removal of the remaining lockdown restrictions, No 10 officials indicated.

The Government wants to “double jab” everyone over 50 or in a vulnerable group by the reopening date. 

The Prime Minister will continue to look at the data before giving a decision on June 14. 

Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, urged the Government to stick to the freedom timetable. 

He said there was no evidence to justify a delay and added that keeping restrictions is harming society. 

He continued: “We need to recognise the way in which levels of fear and anxiety in the population have been amplified over the last 15 months or so. We’ve got to look at the collateral damage in terms of untreated cancers, untreated heart conditions, all of the other things that people suffer from. 

“We’ve got to think about the impact of economic damage that would be caused by further periods of delay.” 

Prof Dingwall said the UK must learn to live with the virus and claimed “critics” who want to put back Freedom Day “can’t even agree on what delay they’d like”. Tory MPs urged the Government to stick to the roadmap, insisting “we need to open up”. 

Ex-Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday: “It appears the evidence shows, as we’ve seen today with zero deaths, that actually these vaccines are proving to be a very strong protection. So we need to stay with that [June 21 date].” 

Some scientists warned against opening up fully this month. Prof Adam Finn, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, claimed there are still many people vulnerable to the effects of Covid. 

He warned: “The idea that somehow the job is done is wrong.” 

Prof Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said a month’s delay “could have a big impact” on stopping the spread. While Pat Cullen, acting general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, urged against “an unchecked leap to freedom”.

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