Infections, admissions and deaths from Covid-19 up - how did we get back here?

Published 13 October 2020

Today there were 143 reported deaths, which is on a par with the numbers on the 23rd/24th of March - the date of the last national lockdown. 

Reported cases are also peaking (amber line in the chart below), although it is important to remember these are not total cases. The chart below also shows our estimate of actual cases (blue line) based on deaths.*

For England, estimated total case numbers are on a par with the 7th of March, which was the date of my friend's wedding (an event that would now be illegal). Notably, cases are not spreading as quickly this time around. 

But these numbers hide a lot of variation across the country. The chart below shows cases for London (left), North East and Yorkshire (centre), and the North West (right). 

For this breakdown, London is closer to the 1st of March and the North West closer to the 13th of March. 

Two weeks is a lot of time when cases are doubling every two weeks, so there are far more cases in the North West per head of population than in London. 

While there are differences in the rate the virus is spreading (Rt) in the two regions, the number of community cases in the North West stayed high over the summer months despite local lockdowns. Partly this is due to fewer people being able to work from home

Sadly this will all lead to increased hospitalisations and deaths.

While this is all interesting and informative, it remains frustrating that data on confirmed infections are still not widely available.** This means we do not have as good an understanding of where and how infections might be happening. As with the care home crisis in March and April, you have to wonder whether people would have made the same bad decisions if they had access to better and more timely information.