NHS reports highest Sunday death toll in entire pandemic with 704 new Covid deaths in hospitals - up 141 on same figure a week ago

  • The previous highest Sunday death toll was 657, which was recorded on April 12
  • In England, NHS said 631 people who tested positive for coronavirus had died 
  • The official government figures of deaths in all settings will be released later A further 704 people have died of coronavirus in hospital settings across the UK, the highest one day rise on a Sunday since the pandemic began.

    In England, 631 people who tested positive for coronavirus died, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 60,921, NHS England said on Sunday.

    Another 48 died in Wales, and 25 in Northern Ireland. No new deaths were reported in Scotland on Sunday.   

    The official government figures will be released later but the hospital deaths already make today the deadliest Sunday of the pandemic. 

    The previous highest death total for a Sunday was April 12 when 657 deaths were registered.  

    Another 704 people have died with Covid-19 in British hospitals, it was announced this afternoon, with 631 of those in England

    Another 704 people have died with Covid-19 in British hospitals, it was announced this afternoon, with 631 of those in England 

    In England, patients who died were aged between 29 and 103. All except 31, aged between 46 and 93, had known underlying health conditions.

    The deaths were between November 5 and January 16.

    There were 36 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

    It comes as  NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens revealed that someone is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus 'every thirty seconds'.

    The NHS boss, who was appearing on the Andrew Marr show, said that hospitals had seen a huge increase in patients since Christmas and added that there are enough new cases to fill a whole hospital every morning. 

    He also revealed that a quarter of the admissions are people under the age of 55.  Sir Simon said: 'The facts are very clear and I'm not going to sugar-coat them, hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.

    'Since Christmas Day we've seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England, that's the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.

    'Staggeringly, every thirty seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.'

    It comes as 704 new deaths were announced in hospitals across the UK today - the highest Sunday figure since the pandemic started. 

    The surging death rate comes despite hopes infections might finally be tailing off. A raft of official data and scientific estimates published this week offered the strongest evidence yet that the tough lockdown restrictions have worked.

    Cambridge University researchers believe the R rate - the average number of people each infected person passes the disease onto - may have dipped to as low as 0.6 in London and the South East. The figure must be below one for an outbreak to shrink.

    Public Health England revealed weekly Covid cases have fallen in every age group except the over-80s, despite the spread of the highly infectious variant first spotted in Kent which officials feared couldn't be contained.

    In more positive news, he also revealed that a trial for 24-hour Covid vaccines within the next 10 days. 

    When asked if he would like to see jabs given 'all day, all night', Sir Simon said: 'Absolutely, we will do that at the point that we have enough supply that it makes sense.  

    'We will start testing 24/7 in some hospitals over the course of the next 10 days.

    'But we are at the moment vaccinating at about 140 jabs a minute and yesterday (Saturday), a quarter of a million people got their vaccinations on the NHS.

    'I'm pretty confident by the time we get to the end of today, Sunday night, we will have perhaps done 1.5 million vaccinations this past week, that's up from around a million the week before.'We are vaccinating four times faster than people are catching coronavirus.'

    He also insisted that no vaccines were being thrown away by doctors, despite reports. 

    Sir Simon said: 'The guidance from the chief medical officer and NHS medical director is crystal clear, that every last drop of vaccine should be used.' 

    Sir Simon said the NHS is facing the most 'unique' situation in its history.

    Asked if the nation's health service has ever been in a more precarious situation, he told the Andrew Marr show: 'No. This is a unique event in our 72-year history, it's become glib to talk about this as the worst pandemic in a century, but that is clearly correct.

    'We have got three-quarters more Covid inpatients now then we had in the April peak.

    'Although we are seeing some promising signs of the steadying of the infection rates, the fact is they are still far too high and, among some age groups, still rising.'

    He added: 'It is not going to be the case that on Valentine's Day, with one bound, we are free.

    'Equally, I don't think we will have to wait until the autumn, I think somewhere between those two.' 

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