Experts warn Covid deaths will continue to rise with ‘more record-breaking days’

The UK saw its highest number of recorded deaths on Tuesday (Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)

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Scientists have warned that coronavirus deaths will continue to rise in the coming days, after the UK saw it's highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Officials believe that lockdown measures around the country are beginning to have an effect as vaccines are rolled out and infection rates continue to fall.

But the gap between people becoming infected and going to hospital means deaths won't start to fall until the end of January.

Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said there could be more "record-breaking" days of newly reported deaths to come.

"The lockdown is starting to show an effect on new cases per day," he said.

"However, a proportion of the cases from early January will be admitted to hospital approximately this week, and deaths from those cases will likely peak around the end of this month.

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Experts warn it will take a while for deaths to fall
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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"Therefore, we will alas see several more 'record-breaking' days in terms of newly-reported deaths.

"Over the coming weeks, the combination of the lockdown and the impact of the vaccine rollout will start to translate into a reduction of severe Covid-19 cases."

The UK saw 1,610 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday January 6, the highest reported on a single day since the pandemic began.

Public Health England (PHE) said the total figure of those who had died 28 days after contracting the virus is now 91,470.

The government says it is on target to vaccinate vulnerable people by mid-Feburary
(Image: Daily Mirror)

Statistics collected by UK agencies also show that deaths in which Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, along with additional data on the past few days, now number 108,000.

PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said coronavirus-related deaths would "continue for some time throughout this second wave".

"Whilst there are some early signs that show our sacrifices are working, we must continue to strictly abide by the measures in place," she said.

"By reducing our contacts and staying at home we will see a fall in the number of infections over time."

Millions have been ordered to stay at home
(Image: Tom Maddick SWNS)

With infection rates falling, there are signs that lockdown is working
(Image: PA)

The government have insisted that the programme to vaccinate 14 million of the most vulnerable, including care home residents, frontline healthcare staff and the over-80s by mid February is on track.

But although more than four million people across the UK have now received a first jab, figures show that numbers getting vaccinated have fallen in recent days, from 324,000 on Friday to 204,000 on Monday.

Asel Sartbaeva, a vaccine specialist from the University of Bath, said there was a "big problem" with supply chains, partially due to a shortage of equipment needed to store the Pfizer below -70c.

She said the government had failed to utilise equipment in university laboratories or equipment used to transport food.

"The Government is not thinking laterally and that is not using the equipment that is available at the moment because of the lockdown and could be used for this," she told BBC2's Newsnight.

Infections continue to fall but experts say it will be days before deaths follow.

Nicola Sturgeon announced that schools would stay closed until mid-February
(Image: PA)

While retailers in Scotland have been told they could lose nearly £1 billion in total due to the latest lockdown, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed shops and other businesses must remain closed until mid-February.

The First Minister has also implemented a stay-at-home order and announced that schools and nurseries across Scotland will be closed until at least mid-February.

In Wales an app has been launched to help people suffering with long Covid, when the symptoms of Covid-19 extend beyond 12 weeks.

The app has been developed by NHS Wales respiratory health group on behalf of the Welsh Government to help people with recovery from the virus.