6 stats that show how the COVID pandemic in England is going 'from bad to much worse'

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
A shopper in Nottingham City Centre walks past a New Year sign. More than three quarters of England's population is being ordered to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
A scientist has warned the coronavirus pandemic in England is getting 'much worse'. (PA)

A prominent scientist has laid out the stark statistics that “show that England must go into another national coronavirus lockdown immediately”.

Christina Pagel, a mathematician and professor of operational research at University College London, cited six pieces of government and NHS data that show how COVID-19 continues to spread and said: “Things are going from very bad to much worse.”

On Sunday, the UK reported 54,990 new COVID-19 cases, the sixth day in a row the figure has been above 50,000.

Boris Johnson has warned that tougher restrictions are imminent, as England braces for another national lockdown.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday that a new national lockdown should be imposed within 24 hours.

On Sunday, Prof Pagel, who warned just before Christmas that COVID transmission was “out of control”, posted a series of tweets in which she called for immediate government action.

- More than 70,000 people tested in England on 29 December tested positive for COVID-19

- The proportion of people tested in London on 29 December who tested positive for coronavirus was 27%

- There are almost 25,000 people with COVID-19 in hospitals in England, a 32% increase from the April peak

- 3,010 patients were admitted to hospital in England with COVID-19 on 1 January, only slightly less than the 3,099 admitted on one day during the peak in spring

- More than 75 people per million are being admitted to hospitals in London with COVID-19 each day

- There were 796 new COVID-19 admissions to London hospitals on 1 January, almost double the 404 patients admitted on 19 December

Watch: Senior medic worried by rising hospital admissions

Citing data from the government’s coronavirus dashboard, she pointed out that more than 70,000 people who were tested for COVID-19 in England on 29 December returned a positive result.

A separate chart showed how the proportion of people who tested positive in London had increased from 15% on 15 December to 27% on 29 December.

“The positivity rate from tests is shooting up – everywhere,” tweeted Prof Pagel.

“London has been in Tier 4 for two weeks. Biggest worry: there is no sign that Tier 4 is working.”

Another chart from NHS England showed there were 24,957 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in England on 3 January, compared to 18,974 during the April peak – a rise of 32%.

Daily admissions have reached the same level as spring, with 3,010 people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 on 1 January, just short of the 3,099 patients in the April peak.

Prof Pagel said: “Admissions are rising everywhere. Steeper than they did in the autumn. No sign of slowdown – even in London, two weeks after Tier 4 started.

“I can't tell you how scary I find this. We are not even slowing this thing down – let alone reversing it.”

Figures show that admissions to hospitals in London are doubling every two weeks.

“Cases in England are more than twice as high as they were before November lockdown,” said Prof Pagel.

Read more

The Tier 4 COVID lockdown rules explained
The Tier 3 COVID lockdown rules explained

“The number of people in hospital is much higher, admissions are almost at their highest level and increasing rapidly.

“Why is the government doing literally nothing?! We need lockdown. We need it now, today.”

Watch: What is long COVID?