Global COVID daily deaths set to outstrip first wave within days

Connor Parker
·4-min read
People cross the road past a sign calling on people to wear face masks and observe social distancing rules in Berlin's Kreuzberg district on November 5, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by David GANNON / AFP) (Photo by DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images)
People cross the road past a sign calling on people to wear face masks and observe social distancing rules in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. (AFP via Getty Images)

The number of people dying daily from COVID-19 worldwide is set to outstrip the highs seen during spring within the next few days, according to researchers.

Analysis from the University of Oxford shows more than 7,000 people are dying each day from coronavirus.

The analysis found on average 7,232 people died from COVID-19 every day last week, the previous peak was 7,456 on 19 April.

There were 7,231 deaths on Wednesday and the trajectory of the spike shows no sign of slowing down.

There were 492 deaths in the UK reported on Wednesday – the highest since 19 May and over 100 more than the day before.

There have been warnings the UK could see higher daily deaths than the country did during April, which reached a peak of around 1,000 fatalities per day.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was forced to extend the furlough scheme until March on Thursday as the situation continued to deteriorate across the country.

A total of 137,180 people tested positive for coronavirus in England in the week to 28 October, an increase of 8% compared to the previous week.

Watch: England enters second virus lockdown

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The latest report warned infections have been ‘rising steeply’ since the end of August.

Most of Europe including the UK has returned to a form of lockdown like what was seen in the spring as the number of cases has spiraled out of control and hospital beds have filled up across the continent.

France and Germany both entered into new lockdowns last week after a spike in cases.

The UK entered lockdown on Thursday and is due to leave it on 2 December, but justice secretary Robert Buckland admitted an extension could not be ruled out.

In most of the nations that have entered lockdown they have closed pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops.

Unlike last time schools and universities have generally remained open but are subject to strict social distancing measures.

Police officers in Newcastle city centre at the start of a four week national lockdown for England.
Police officers in Newcastle city centre at the start of a four week national lockdown for England. (PA)

The spike in cases has also made it harder for test and trace operations to reach all the people they need.

The NHS Test and Trace system has reached the lowest ever proportion of contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England.

Four in 10 close contacts of people who tested positive are still not being reached by the system, at the same time as it recorded its highest weekly number of positive cases.

The US makes up around one-seventh of the total global number for daily deaths.

It also set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with at least 102,591 new infections and as hospitals in several states reported a rising tide of patients.

Read more: Coronavirus infections up 10,000 in week

Nine states reported record one-day increases in cases on Wednesday: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries in Europe and North America presented leaders with a "critical moment for action".

"This is another critical moment for action," he said. "Another critical moment for leaders to step up. And another critical moment for people to come together for a common purpose. Seize the opportunity, it's not too late."

Tedros was addressing a regular WHO news briefing in Geneva from self-isolation at home after announcing on Twitter that he had been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

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