There were two fatalities recorded in the capital yesterday as every English region saw deaths down to single figures, while there were none in the North East.The most was five in the East of England. The Government’s data dashboard also showed there had been 443 virus deaths across the UK in the last seven days – down 25 percent on the previous week.
The seven-day deaths total has tumbled almost 95 percent since January 24, when there were more than 8,600.
Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said: “The best news really on this is that the number of deaths of people who had a positive test for Covid in the UK is continuing to fall.
“A large part of this is due to lockdown, but also partly and increasingly due to the vaccine rollout.”
Total UK deaths reported yesterday were down to 23: none in Scotland or Northern Ireland, one in Wales, 20 in English regions plus two deaths in England not assigned to a region.
There were 4,654 fresh Covid cases.
Despite the downward trend, Boris Johnson warned that it was “inevitable” more people would die.
The Prime Minister said: “It’s great to see that we recorded the lowest number of new infections for six months [and] deaths and hospital admissions across the UK are continuing to fall.
“That wave is still rising across the Channel and it’s inevitable, as we advance on this roadmap, that there will be more infections and unavoidably more hospitalisations, and sadly more deaths.”
Prof Whitty said that positive Covid tests had “dropped a long way from the peak in January”. But he too warned of a possible rise as restrictions are eased. Data for England showed there were 3,466 people with Covid on wards yesterday, including 532 in intensive care. The number has plunged by 90 percent since the peak of 34,336 on February 18.
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of trusts body NHS Providers, said “things are on the right track” but added: “Covid-19 cases have not gone away.
“We must remain vigilant against new variants of the virus. As with every stage of this pandemic, we are still in uncharted territory and there is a way to go before we defeat it.”
Meanwhile a memorial to people lost in the crisis has been started on a wall opposite Parliament. Bereaved families are hand-drawing almost 150,000 coloured hearts for hundreds of yards along the southern bank of the Thames.
The tribute has been organised by the group Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice UK, which is calling for a public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
Co-founder Matt Fowler, 33, lost his 56-year-old dad Ian. He said: “Each heart is individually hand-painted [and] utterly unique, just like the loved ones we’ve lost. And like the scale of our collective loss, this memorial is going to be enormous.”
Helpers are working in socially distanced groups of no more than six, in line with coronavirus restrictions.