Scientists reveal forecast for what UK coronavirus death toll could be at end of July

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3 min read
A sign requesting people stay two metres apart is displayed in Kingston upon Thames, south west London, Monday, June 22, 2020. The two-metre social distancing rule will be under review as the UK relax coronavirus lockdown measures implemented to stem the spread of the virus. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A sign requesting people stay two metres apart is displayed in Kingston upon Thames. (AP)

A group of scientists has predicted what the UK’s COVID-19 death toll could be by the end of the month, as lockdown restrictions continue to be relaxed.

According to the forecast, made by scientists at Cambridge University, the number of daily deaths is “likely” to be between 45 and 85.

The model predicts that the East of England is likely to have the highest rate of infections, ahead of London and the Midlands.

It comes as the number of weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus has fallen to the lowest level since lockdown was first introduced.

NHS staff outside Royal Victoria Infirmary join in the pause for applause to salute the NHS 72nd birthday, in Newcastle, England, Sunday, July 5, 2020.  People across the U.K. joined a round of applause to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the free-to-use National Health Service, undoubtedly the country’s most cherished institution. The reverence with which it is held has been accentuated this year during the coronavirus pandemic. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)
NHS staff outside Royal Victoria Infirmary join in the pause for applause to salute the NHS's 72nd birthday in Newcastle. (PA)

According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of deaths registered in England and Wales involving COVID-19 in the week ending 3 July was 532.

It is the lowest number of deaths linked to the virus in the last 15 weeks, the ONS said.

It added: "The number of death registrations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased from 606 in Week 26 to 532 in Week 27, the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths registered since Week 12, week ending March 20, when 103 deaths involved COVID-19.

"Of all deaths registered in Week 27, 5.8% mentioned COVID-19, down from 6.7% in Week 26.”

Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures on 23 March and in that week 539 deaths involving coronavirus were registered, according to ONS figures.

Dr Layla McCay, a director at the NHS Confederation, said that while the decline was a "positive development", a second spike in cases could overwhelm the NHS.

She added: "While the number of people known to be dying with coronavirus continues to decline, this positive development comes at the same time as we have been given a horrifying warning from the Academy of Medical Sciences that without continued government action and public vigilance, we could be faced with a second wave of COVID-19 infection this winter that could cause 120,000 deaths.

"NHS leaders are already bracing themselves for a very challenging winter, but a second wave of this magnitude would overwhelm their services.

"We note this isn't a prediction of what will definitely happen, but it is another stark reminder that the pandemic is not over: it will be with us for a very long time.”

People sit and drink, outside a restaurant in Soho, as the capital is set to reopen after the lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, in London, Saturday, July 4, 2020. England is embarking on perhaps its biggest lockdown easing yet as pubs and restaurants have the right to reopen for the first time in more than three months. In addition to the reopening of much of the hospitality sector, couples can tie the knot once again, while many of those who have had enough of their lockdown hair can finally get a trim. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
People sit and drink outside a restaurant in Soho at the start of July as lockdown restrictions are relaxed. (AP)

More than 50,000 deaths involving COVID-19 have been recorded in England and Wales during the outbreak, including suspected cases, with the virus the main reason for deaths increasing above what would normally be expected for this period, the ONS said.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the UK is now just under 56,000 including suspected cases, according to the latest available data.

Figures also showed that deaths have been below the five-year average for the third week in a row.

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