Scotland today marked four full weeks without a single death from coronavirus north of the border, according to its official government statistics.
A full round-up of the total number of fatalities — which will include all settings in England and not just hospitals — will be published later by the Department of Health.
Today’s preliminary update comes amid confusion over how many people have actually died of the coronavirus, with ministers now counting deaths in six different ways.
Officials yesterday revised the overall count following an urgent review, knocking off around 5,000 victims who died at least 28 days after testing positive for the virus. It took the official death toll to 41,329.
But the Department of Health still publishes the original count that includes anyone who has ever tested positive and died, with the overall number of victims under this method standing at around 46,000.
A third count will be kept by Public Health England, along with records by statistical bodies in each country and also measures of ‘excess’ deaths. Totals now range from 41,000 to almost 66,000.
In other developments to the coronavirus crisis in Britain today:
- A-level students were left in limbo as their teachers scrambled to appeal against tens of thousands of ‘unfair’ downgraded results released just three weeks before the university deadline;
- British holidaymakers in France could be spared quarantine for now despite a surge in coronavirus cases — but the Netherlands and Malta are facing tougher UK curbs;
- Coronavirus kills around 1.23 per cent of all infected patients, according to a major study that estimated around 3.4million people in England may have been infected with Covid-19;
- Russia’s leading respiratory doctor has quit over ‘gross violations’ of medical ethics that rushed through Vladimir Putin’s coronavirus Sputnik V vaccine;
- The NHS Test and Trace smartphone app is being re-launched using technology made by Apple and Google, with a second round of trials on the Isle of Wight and in the London borough of Newham;
- More than 1.85million people were waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine hospital treatment in England in June in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — the highest number since records began in 2007.
Officials yesterday revised the overall count following an urgent review, knocking off around 5,000 victims who died at least 28 days after testing positive for the virus. It took the official death toll to 41,329. But the Department of Health still publishes the original count that includes anyone who has ever tested positive and died, with the overall number of victims under this method standing at around 46,000. A third count will be kept by Public Health England, along with records by statistical bodies in each country and also measures of ‘excess’ deaths. Totals now range from 41,000 to almost 66,000
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE REALLY DIED FROM COVID-19 IN THE UK?
Department of Health (no cut-off): 46,706
Department of Health’s latest death count for all settings stands at 46,706.
The daily data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.
It also only takes into account patients who have ever tested positive for the virus, as opposed to deaths suspected to be down to the coronavirus.
The method came under scrutiny because it meant someone who once had Covid-19 and then recovered would be counted, even if they were hit by a bus or were in a car crash months later.
Department of Health (28-day cut off): 41,329
If someone died 28 days after testing positive for Covid-19, they wouldn’t be classed as a coronavirus death under this measure.
This means that many victims who recovered and died of unrelated causes are not included.
Public Health England (60-day cut off): 45,038
This method will count a Covid-19 death as anyone who died with in 60 days of a positive result. It will be published once a week.
It leaves room for those who may have died several weeks after getting infected, considering some patients may be in hospital for a long time before they eventually die of the disease.
However, it also means some people who tested positive for the virus, recovered, and then died a while later of different causes will be picked up.
Public Health England said the 60-day cut off is better than 28 days because some patients suffer long term Covid-19 symptoms after appearing to recover, and cannot be missed out from the tally if they do not die in the immediate month after their diagnosis.
NHS England: 29,444
NHS England is the only statistical body to keep a rolling tally of how many patients have died of coronavirus in hospitals.
Statistics show 29,444 patients have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in hospitals across England.
National statistical bodies: 56,846
Data compiled by the statistical bodies of each of the home nations show 56,846 people died of either confirmed or suspected Covid-19 across the UK by the end of May.
The Office for National Statistics yesterday confirmed that 51,779 people in England and Wales died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 by July 31.
The number of coronavirus deaths was 854 by the same day in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
National Records Scotland — which collects statistics north of the border — said 4,213 people had died across the country by June 22.
Their tallies are always 10 days behind the Department of Health (DH) because they wait until as many fatalities as possible for each date have been counted, to avoid having to revise their statistics.
Excess deaths: 65,278
The total number of excess deaths is at least 65,000.
Excess deaths are considered to be a more 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 59,324 deaths between March 15 and June 12, as well as 4,953 in Scotland between March 2 and June 22 and 1,001 in Northern Ireland between March 28 and June 26.
Today’s NHS data — which is a separate measure by its own accord because it only takes into account deaths in hospitals in England — shows 13 more people between the ages of 49 and 90 died between July 18 and August 12.
Five of the victims died in the North East of England, five in the North West, two in the Midlands and one in London.
Ministers now count coronavirus deaths in six different ways — including the NHS England tally — following an urgent review into how fatalities were calculated.
Health chiefs last night unveiled two new measures of recording Covid-19 victims.
One of the measures only counts a death as being down to coronavirus if they die within four weeks of testing positive for the disease and stands at 41,329. The other has a cut-off of 60 days (45,038).
The methods are in addition to the original government calculation (46,706), which sparked fury after top academics found it meant no-one in England could ever technically recover. Coronavirus patients would be counted as a victim, even if they were hit by a bus months after beating the disease.
National statistical bodies collect the other two tallies, including one that adds up to 56,842 because it tots up all confirmed and suspected deaths in each of the home nations.
The other calculates excess deaths, or how many more people died than expected over a certain time-frame (60,000). They are considered the most accurate way of analysing how many people have really died in an outbreak.
Each tally gives a different perspective as health officials said there is no correct way of counting Covid-19 deaths.
Some experts welcomed the ‘sensible’ switch to the ‘headline’ 28-day count, which brought England in line with the rest of the UK and shaved 5,400 off the government count.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at Cambridge University, said he felt ‘sorry for everyone’ amid the confusion of the true tally.
The UK Government had recorded 46,706 deaths in during the pandemic up to yesterday, when the results of a inquiry finally came to light.
The initial method, from Public Health England (PHE) counted people as victims if they die of any cause any time after testing positive for Covid-19.
Survivors would never be considered truly recovered from the disease and it would have meant every single person that has ever tested positive (313,798) would have shown up in the death tally eventually.
The flaw, discovered by Dr Yoon Loke, a pharmacologist at the University of East Anglia, and Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan, prompted Health Secretary Matt Hancock to order a review last month.
The academics said the method is likely why the daily fatality tolls have not dropped as quickly in England as elsewhere, because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — which have been seen zero daily deaths for weeks — use a 28-day cut off.
Officials said it slashed almost 5,400 deaths off the total for England, therefore lowering the UK total to 41,329.
Most of the deaths come off the tallies for June, July and August.
For example, under the old PHE system, 2,086 deaths were reported in England in July by date of death, with the 28 days cut off this number is 574 – nearly a quarter of what was previously reported, Professor Heneghan pointed out.
Although scientists welcomed the new way of counting deaths, the damage caused by the original counting method, used for more than five months, has left a sour taste.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 today, Sir David said: ‘People have been watching this daily figure and haven’t realised how ridiculous it is.
‘This will make a difference but it doesn’t make a difference to the fact we have done very badly and there has been a very large number of deaths.
‘I also would say thought that people are on the whole rather too cautious rather too fearful and the communication hasn’t helped in that, particularly that’s why the current communication of the risks of deaths at the moment is so vital.’
Professor Spiegelhalter noted there were around five ways of counting Covid-19 deaths now, but did not list them himself.
He said: ‘I do feel sorry for everyone… it is very confusing.’
Professor Karol Sikora, a cancer specialist and dean at the University of Buckingham medical school, said the old system had inflated numbers ‘for weeks’.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘These figures have been so influential, I’m angry at the way they’ve been handled.’
Powered by: Daily Mail
Rishi Sunak faces backlash from retail giants over plans to axe tax-free shopping
Rishi Sunak is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ‘catastrophic’ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists.
Bosses warned the Chancellor it would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs.
Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ‘another nail in the coffin’ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers.
Rishi Sunak (pictured) is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ‘catastrophic’ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists
She said the tax grab would drive international travellers to Paris and other European cities at a time when British firms needed them most.
Millions of wealthy tourists from China and the Middle East come to Britain to shop each year, spending £22 billion on hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions during their stay.
Business chiefs are threatening legal action after the Treasury quietly announced that at the end of the year it would pull out of the VAT Retail Export Scheme, which lets overseas visitors reclaim the 20 per cent in VAT on items such as clothes, handbags and jewellery.
Most countries outside the EU extend the same perk to British travellers and businesses.
Harrods (pictured) are among the retail giants warning the Chancellor his plans would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs
Ms Pitcher blasted the ‘appalling’ move – which has left bosses ‘in shock’ and would hit tourism, retailers and other city centre firms – and demanded an immediate review.
She said organisations had recommended extending the scheme to European visitors after Britain leaves the EU on January 1 to help kick-start tourism after Covid-19.
Any additional tax revenue from the latest decision would be wiped out by a drop in visitors, she said.
‘This should have been a golden opportunity to make Britain one of the most desirable countries to visit. Instead, with a single swipe, the Government has taken more than £20 billion of opportunity from the economy.
Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ‘another nail in the coffin’ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers, Pictured: File image of Selfridges
This isn’t just a problem, it’s a catastrophe,’ said Ms Pitcher. ‘People don’t just shop when they come. They stay in hotels, eat, travel throughout the UK. Those businesses will be severely impacted.’
Ewan Venters, chief executive of Fortnum & Mason, said he was ‘flabbergasted’, warning: ‘This is a significant blow to our recovery.’
In a letter to Mr Sunak, 20 firms in the Association of International Retail point out the huge volume of purchases by non-EU tourists at flagship shops props up ‘more marginal stores’, warning: ‘They will be the first to close and lose jobs.’
A Treasury spokesman said: ‘We’re making use of the end of the transition period to bring personal duty and tax systems in line with international norms. This was subject to consultation.
VAT-free shopping is still available. Retailers are able to offer it to overseas visitors who purchase items in store and have them sent to their home addresses.’
Powered by: Daily Mail
Bystanders run for cover as gunman strikes in triple shooting outside a Coventry Chinese takeaway
This is the terrifying moment bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway.
The CCTV footage was recorded near Coventry, West Midlands, as the suspect opened fire on Thursday night.
Police have now imposed a dispersal order and said that they are now ploughing ‘significant’ resources into its effort to catch the offenders behind the attack.
In the clip, a group of young men standing together on the pavement can be seen ducking for cover as the gunman opens fire from beyond the camera.
The assailant is then thought to have driven off at speed in a dark-coloured vehicle.
Three people were injured after the gunman, who is thought to have had an accomplice driving a car, opened fire.
Two of the victims have been discharged from hospital but a third continues to receive medical treatment.
Bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway in Coventry, West Midlands
A police spokesman said: ‘The man that we thought was most seriously injured was less serious than first thought and has been discharged from hospital. One still remains in hospital in a stable condition.
‘We are continuing to put significant resources into patrolling the area and trawling CCTV to apprehend the offenders. We also have a Dispersal Order in place in Far Gosford Street.’
Dispersal powers are granted under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and mean officers can direct anyone to leave an area whose behaviour is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress.
The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders following the incident on Thursday night
Police also have the power to seize items that are used to cause distress, including bicycles.
Speaking the day after the incident, Chief Inspector Paul Minor, of Coventry Police, said: ‘We’ll be stepping up patrols in the area over the coming days.
‘This was outrageous violence on the streets of the city centre and we’re doing everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.’
The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders.
The street has since returned to normality as staff at the Chinese takeaway boarded up a bullet hole in the window and swept up debris.
Powered by: Daily Mail
DAN HODGES: Why Dishy Rishi is turning into Ruthless Rishi, the Iron Chancellor
Dishy Rishi is about to be put on furlough. ‘People have lost perspective,’ an ally of the Chancellor tells me.
‘We’ve spent £350billion protecting the economy, but we’ve now reached the point where this isn’t even registering.
‘Someone said to him last week, ‘Why aren’t you doing anything for the theatre?’ We’ve given the theatres £1.6billion. Things are going to have to change.’
As Covid threatens to plunge Britain into a double-dip lockdown, Sunak is only too aware he cannot simply turn off the spending taps.
But over the past few weeks, he’s become increasingly concerned that the country – and even some of his own colleagues – have started to believe there is an unlimited supply of public cash to be thrown at the coronavirus crisis.
As Covid threatens to plunge Britain into a double-dip lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is only too aware he cannot simply turn off the spending taps
‘We can’t chuck people to the wolves,’ a Minister explains, ‘but everyone is going to have to start to realise that over the medium term this sort of spending can’t continue. It’s not economically sustainable and it’s not politically sustainable.’
So as he prepares for a combined autumn Budget and spending review, Dishy Rishi is set to be replaced by Ruthless Rishi.
The Government will continue to provide support. But, as an ally frames it: ‘We’re going to get back to a situation where every pound we spend is going to have to be replaced somewhere else.’
To reassert fiscal prudence, Sunak had been eyeing the ‘triple lock’ on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But I understand Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment.
So instead he will be looking for other significant – and politically explosive – savings. First there will be a major squeeze on public-sector pay.
‘It just wouldn’t be right if 16 per cent of the workforce were seeing big pay increases just at the time when everyone else in the economy is having to tighten their belts,’ a Minister explains.
There will also be a freeze on welfare. Ministers have been working on a worst-case scenario of four million unemployed as the existing levels of support for businesses and workers begins to unwind.
Some remain hopeful that a jobs apocalypse on this scale can be averted.
But they believe that whatever final toll Covid wreaks on employment, there is no scope – or public appetite – for an uprating of individual benefits.
And I’m told there’s significant Treasury pushback on Boris’s cherished Operation Moonshot – or Operation Moonf***, as some of the more hard-bitten Treasury civil servants have started branding it.
The Chancellor is said to be supportive of investment on health measures that can get Britain safely back to work.
But he is resisting releasing huge amounts of public money on what could turn out to be nothing more than a bottomless petri dish, until tried and tested technology is available to support the programme.
The Chancellor believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency. Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It’s now Ruthless Rishi who’s sitting behind the Chancellor’s desk
Over the past few months, Sunak’s growing legion of fans on the Tory backbenches have come to view him as something of a fiscal magician – a swirl of the cape and flourish of the wand, and their constituents’ problems vanish in a puff of smoke.
But even though he is aware there will inevitably be damage to his personal brand, he is said by friends to have decided it’s time to present his colleagues with some harsh economic truths.
‘This Dishy Rishi stuff has got a bit out of hand,’ an ally concedes. ‘We’re facing a serious crisis. And were going to need to introduce a note of reality into all this.’
This chimes in part with the Chancellor’s own personal ideology. As a 15-year-old, he used to do the accounts in his mother’s pharmacy. ‘He’s been balancing the books since he was a teenager,’ says a friend.
He also spent the summer flicking through Nigel Lawson’s memoirs.
‘He tells me he’s a Lawsonian,’ one MP tells me. ‘He’s very hot on fiscal responsibility.’
An example of this is Sunak’s growing alarm at the UK’s debt-to-GDP ratio, which now exceeds 100 per cent.
‘Rishi is very, very worried about how vulnerable this makes us to even small variations in interest rates,’ a Minister reveals. ‘He thinks we’re in a very precarious position.’
But there is also a political calculation behind the Chancellor’s desire to damp down expectations that Britain can painlessly spend its way out of the Covid crisis.
Sunak is one of a growing number of Tory MPs who are becoming worried there is insufficient ‘blue water’ between them and Keir Starmer’s increasingly effective Labour Opposition.
‘There is not enough fiscal demarcation between us and Starmer,’ a Sunak supporter says. ‘We’re Conservatives. We’re going to have to draw a much clearer line between ourselves and Labour on the economy and spending.’
All of which is why Sunak has begun a major charm offensive of Tory backbenchers.
Sunak had been eyeing the ‘triple lock’ on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment
Last week saw the growing discontent at Boris’s faltering leadership explode into open revolt over the statement that No 10 was preparing to break international law to kick-start the Brexit negotiations.
‘I don’t mind dying in the ditch over Brexit,’ one exasperated MP tells me, ‘but I do expect No 10 to at least dig me the ditch before the bullets start flying.’
Rishi Sunak is going to spend the next few weeks rolling up his sleeves, and digging in with his colleagues.
He knows that hard times are coming. That the crushing burden of Covid-19 on the UK economy can no longer be resisted by one-off loans and eye-catching restaurant discounts. And that when economic gravity finally reasserts itself, there will be a political backlash.
Some of his opponents think there is no place for him to hide.
‘We don’t think we’ll be fighting Boris at the next Election,’ one of Keir Starmer’s aides told me a few weeks ago, ‘but I’m not sure we’re going to be facing Rishi either. He’s very popular now, but let’s see how popular he is when the furlough scheme is taken away.’
But it isn’t popularity the Chancellor craves at the moment. He believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency.
Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It’s now Ruthless Rishi who’s sitting behind the Chancellor’s desk.
Powered by: Daily Mail
Bachelorette Georgia Love talks about her postponed wedding plans
CHOICE home economist Fiona Mair busts the common air fryer myths
Married At First Sight star Elizabeth Sobinoff shows off her new tattoo on her thigh
Perth skateboarder who died after fall described as ‘full of life’
Above Suspicion (2019)
The Invisible Man (2020)
Australia2 months ago
Perth skateboarder who died after fall described as ‘full of life’
Movies2 months ago
Above Suspicion (2019)
Movies3 months ago
The Invisible Man (2020)
Movies3 months ago
The Dinner Party (2020)
Sports3 months ago
Chelsea ‘one-in, one-out’ transfer policy could see N’Golo Kante leave for PSG and Jorginho head to Juventus
Sports4 months ago
Templegate’s horses to follow: Our top racing tipster lets you in on his horses to keep on side this Flat season
Movies3 months ago
Gabriel’s Inferno (2020)
Latest Stories3 months ago
So THAT’S why ice cream can give you a blinding headache!