334 new deaths due to Covid-19 and 194,747 new coronavirus infections reported in 24h*. Meanwhile, there were 1,281,588 reported Covid-19 infections in 7 days. The UK is rapidly reaching a critical moment in time – the huge wave of infections risks overwhelming an already overstretched NHS service.

First published in January 2022.

  • Today’s death figures include a backlog of hospital deaths reported overnight by NHS England covering the period 1st⁠–4th January 2021.

Note: Given the data lags noted above, the UK data (as indicated below) will not necessarily fully reflect the numbers in specific measures.

  • 194,747 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours – the actual number UK-wide will clearly be higher.
  • The total number of coronavirus infections 'reported' across the UK in the last 7 days was 1,281,588 [highest 7-day number ever recorded] while in the last 28 days 3,247,932 infections have been reported [highest 28-day number ever recorded].
  • 1,195 deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in the last 7 days.
  • The number of deaths in the past week equates on average to around 171 deaths each of the past 7 days. If this was to be the “new normal” for daily deaths caused by Covid-19, then annually this would equate to around 62,311 deaths across the UK.
  • Meanwhile, 3,299 deaths due to Covid-19 have been reported across the UK in the last 28 days.
  • 2,258 Covid-19 hospital admissions occurred on 28 December 2021.
  • 17,276 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds in England (no data available today for Wales and Northern Ireland) as of 4 January 2022 – the highest number since 19 February 2021.
  • 911 Covid-19 patients are occupying mechanical ventilation beds – according to the data reported on 4 January 2022. All three of these healthcare measures remain a continuing concern for our now seriously under-pressure NHS.
LONG COVID UK ESTIMATE (ONS, as of 2 Dec 2021)
🚨 1,200,000 cases
🚨 1 in 50 people live with long COVID


  • 706 days since the first infection due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported in Britain (31 January 2020).
  • 670 days since the first reported death (7 March 2020). Coronavirus has now been responsible for infecting over 13.8 million people in England (according to the official reported positive cases data). In this time, the virus has been responsible for at least 149,284 deaths (within 28 days of a first positive test result).
  • Official data also currently indicate there have been 173,248 deaths in total, where the deceased person’s death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes, registered up to Friday 24 December 2021, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Note: The data for deaths attributed to COVID-19 – each following a reported positive test result for COVID-19 within 28 days of their death.

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)


  • 11 January

If you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result, most people will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You must self-isolate immediately if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result.

  • 7 January

From 4am on 7 January you do not need to take a PCR test before you travel to England or self-isolate when you arrive. Take a rapid lateral flow test on or before day 2 after you arrive and if it’s positive you must take a PCR test.

  • 4 January

It is recommended that secondary school pupils wear face coverings in classrooms. This is a temporary measure.

  • 22 December

If you’ve tested positive or have symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 7 days instead of 10 days if you get 2 negative lateral flow test results on days 6 and 7.

  • 20 December

Children aged 12 to 15 can now get their second vaccine dose if it’s been more than 12 weeks since their first vaccine dose. Book a vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.

  • 15 December

People aged 18 or over can pre-book a booster dose appointment 2 months after their second vaccine dose. You can get your booster dose 3 months after your second vaccine dose. Book a booster vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.


  • 31 December

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 7 full days. On days 6 and 7 they should take rapid lateral flow tests 24 hours apart. If the results are positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get 2 negative tests, or after day 10, whichever is sooner. If they are negative they can stop self-isolating. Find out more about self-isolation on GOV.WALES.

  • 26 December

Wales moves to alert level 2. A maximum of 6 people can meet in venues such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres (‘rule of 6’), 30 people at indoor events and 50 people at outdoor events. 2-metre social distancing will be required in public premises and offices. Nightclubs will close. Find out more on GOV.WALES.


  • 27 December

Up to 3 households can meet with 1-metre physical distancing between groups at indoor and outdoor venues like bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms. Table service will be needed if alcohol is being served.

  • 26 December

Large events will have 1-metre physical distancing and will be limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors.


  • 31 December

People who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 10 days from their PCR test date or when symptoms started, whichever is sooner. People can end self-isolation early if they get two negative rapid lateral flow tests – one from day 6 and the second at least 24 hours later.

  • 27 December

You should reduce social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than 3 households.

Up to 6 people can meet in pubs, bars and restaurants, or up to 10 people if they’re all from the same household. Only table service will be available.

2-metre social distancing will be required in public premises and offices. Find out more about changes in Northern Ireland.

  • 26 December

Indoor standing events will not be permitted. Nightclubs will close.

(Source: Gov.uk)

  • Estimated 1 in 15 people in England had coronavirus in final week of 2021

According to the ONS, early estimates suggest around 1 in 15 people in England would have tested positive for COVID-19 in the week to 31 December 2021.

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased in all regions of England as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the latest week.

They were highest in London (1 in 10 people) and lowest in the South West of England (1 in 30).

The estimated number of people living in private households (not in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments) who had COVID-19 in the most recent week was:

  • England – 3,270,800 people (1 in 15)
  • Wales – 157,900 people (1 in 20)
  • Northern Ireland – 72,900 people (1 in 25)
  • Scotland – 238,000 people (1 in 20)

Going further...

(Source: Office for National Statistics)

Ministers must act now on NHS staffing crisis, health chiefs warn
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Flawed or unrepresentative studies promote the view that masks are ineffective or harmful. But at times when Covid case rates are high, they’re one of our best options
People urged to report Covid home test results after PCR follow-ups halted in England
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the shift reflected the high accuracy of the tests
Covid-19: An urgent call for global “vaccines-plus” action
SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 278 million people globally, with at least 5.4 million deaths recorded by the World Health Organisation as of 26 December 2021. The omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern is spreading rapidly.1 Some countries view infection as a net harm and pursue strategies rangi…
Schools are stuck in 2020 too.
It’s a new year. But it somehow still feels like 2020 too. We know so much more about COVID yet we are still having the same conversations we had in 2020, Stephanie Salgado writes.
Masks in schools is not a matter of opinion. It works.
Suggesting that the benefit of wearing face masks at school to limit the spread of COVID-19 is more based on hope than evidence is misinformation. Even when it comes from the BBC.
The NHS and social care are beyond full stretch.
Drawing on the latest performance, COVID data, and recent intelligence fed to him by trust leaders, Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, explains where the NHS is up to and why the government must be ready to introduce new restrictions at pace if they’re needed.
Life after COVID: Most people don’t want a return to normal – they want a fairer, more sustainable future.
We overestimate how much we think others want the world to return to its pre-pandemic ways, which makes us pessimistic about the potential to make things better.

■ 🧬 COG-UK sequencing

(Source: COG-UK)

■ 🧬 UKHSA genomically confirmed case numbers

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)

📈 UK COVID-19 data

Data up to 5 January 2022.

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)

■ 🧮 Case & Death Totals
🦠 13,835,334 positive cases so far to date (recorded) – Since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
🕯️ 149,284 deaths so far – Number recorded within 28 days of first positive test result
🕯️ 173,248 total deaths – Total number of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes– Registered up to Friday 17 December 2021

💉 Vaccination UK

(Source: UK Health Security Agency + Public Health Wales
+ Public Health Scotland + HSC NI + ONS)

Note: Data cross-referenced with the latest official data from the UK dashboard.

Estimated ®️ Number

(Sources: UK Health Security Agency + Welsh Government
+ Scottish Government + N-I Ministry of Health)

Population Testing Positive for COVID-19

(Source: ONS)

Number of contact tracing alerts sent (England & Wales)

(Source: NHS)

Stringency Index

(Source: University of Oxford)

PMP Magazine

📚 Data Sources:

PMP Xtra

Total UK population: 67,081,234 (last year: 66,796,800), via ONS (subject to changes in population over the year). These figures were updated on 25 June 2021.
(Source ▪ ONS)

📈 Full Daily UK #COVID19 Charts & Comments via #TodayInCovid: www.pmp-magazine.com/tag/today-in-covid/

🦠 Everything #COVID19: www.pmp-magazine.com/covid19/

🗃️ Sources: @CovidGenomicsUK | @UKHSA | @ONS

🧮 Special thanks: @JoePajak & #NHS


Dr Joe Pajak, PhD in physical chemistry: exploring the data, governor of an NHS FT hospital.
J.N. PAQUET, Author & Journalist, Editor of PMP Magazine.


  • Text: This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 5 January 2022. | The authors write in a personal capacity.
  • Data cross-referenced with the latest official data from the UK dashboard.
  • Cover: Adobe Stock/SergeyBitos.
  • Icons from www.flaticon.com

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