Coronavirus deaths top 350 in a day amid stark warning toll will increase for some time

A government agency has warned COVID deaths are likely to continue rising 'for some time' as the daily death toll hit a five-month high on Tuesday.
A government agency has warned COVID deaths are likely to continue rising 'for some time' as the daily death toll hit a five-month high on Tuesday.
  • Government announces 367 daily COVID deaths, the highest number in exactly five months

  • Public Health England warns rising death toll likely to “continue for some time”

  • Another 22,885 infections also confirmed on Tuesday

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Daily coronavirus deaths have hit a five-month high, topping 350 for the first time since May.

On Tuesday, the government said 367 people had died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test. This was the highest daily death toll since 27 May, when there were 425 COVID deaths.

It came as Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, warned the rising death toll is likely to “continue for some time”.

She warned: “Each day we see more people testing positive and hospital admissions increasing.

“Being seriously ill enough from the infection to need hospital admission can sadly lead to more COVID-related deaths.”

Meanwhile, a further 22,885 lab-confirmed cases of COVID were announced, up from 20,890 on Monday.

In recent weeks, infection and death numbers have tended to spike on Tuesdays because of reporting delays from weekends.

The latest daily figures followed the release of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data which showed weekly COVID deaths have risen 50% in England and Wales.

It comes as Boris Johnson faces pressure from scientific advisers for tougher COVID restrictions – at the same time as northern Tory MPs have demanded to know how lockdowns will be eased.

The prime minister has been warned by a group of more than 50 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies that the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to “level up” the country as they called for a “road map out of lockdown”.

Watch: What could a road map out of coronavirus restrictions involve?

Read more: How fast is COVID-19 spreading in your area? England coronavirus infection rates listed

But Prof Wendy Barclay, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned that nothing short of the full lockdown seen in March had managed to control the virus.

Prof Barclay, from Imperial College London, suggested Tier 3 restrictions, the tightest currently in use in England, may not be enough.

“The total lockdown that we had back in late March was enough to turn the tide, and get the virus back under control,” she told Times Radio.

“So far, none of the other restrictions that we’ve seen and none of the other actions, seem to have done that.”

Watch: How England's new three-tier COVID system will work

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