First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

We need so many more of our readers to join them. The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country. We are inundated with tip-offs; we know where to look and what to do with the information when we have it – we just need the means to help us keep doing this work.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Covid Deaths Surge in U.K. as Officials Warn Pandemic I...



Covid Deaths Surge in U.K. as Officials Warn Pandemic Isn’t Over

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29: In this handout from Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice - Brother and sister Amira Atia, 3, (L) and Adem Atia, 4, (R) hold each other in front of a Covid-19 Memorial Wall that has begun opposite Parliament on March 29, 2021, in London, England. Bereaved families have today begun the creation of a vast Covid-19 Memorial Wall, on the Embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Painting individual red hearts for each of the lives lost to the virus, the group hopes to put personal stories at the heart of the Government's approach to learn lessons from the pandemic. Coronavirus is thought to be responsible for more than 145,000 deaths in the UK. 'This is an outpouring of love,' said Matt Fowler, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, who lost his dad Ian, 56, to the virus. 'Each heart is individually hand-painted - utterly unique, just like the loved ones we have lost. And like the scale of our collective loss, this memorial is going to be enormous. We think it will take several days to complete and it's going to stretch for more than half a kilometre. We know not everyone can come down here to see it, but we really hope this can become a focal point for remembering this national tragedy. We have placed it at the heart of our capital so that the Government never loses sight of the personal stories at the heart of all this.'Bereaved family members and volunteers began work first thing this morning, using paint pens for the hearts and cleaning existing marks off the wall. The group has committed to restoring the site at the appropriate time. Those taking part are socially-distanced in no more than groups of six on given sections of walls. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe For Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice/Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
29 Jul 2021 0

(Bloomberg) --The U.K. reported the highest number of Covid-19 deaths since March, prompting a top government health official to warn the pandemic is “not over yet” despite a continued fall in confirmed cases.

By Emily Ashton
Jul 27, 2021, 6:54 PM
Word Count: 455

There were 23,511 new coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday, down for a seventh day. But the number of deaths jumped to 131, the most since March 17, according to the latest data.

An increase is consistent with the lag between infections and serious illness from Covid-19, given the U.K. saw a surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant in June and earlier this month.

“We know deaths follow when there are a high number of cases and data today highlights we are still in the third wave,” Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said in a statement.

Meanwhile senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove criticized people who are still refusing to be vaccinated, and said they could be barred from some events.


“Ultimately, if you can be vaccinated and you refuse to, that is a selfish act,” Gove told the PA news agency in Glasgow. “You’re putting other people’s health and lives at risk.”

Just over 70% of U.K. adults have had the two vaccine doses needed for maximum protection, but there are fears not enough young people are coming forward for their shots. Ministers have said people will need to be fully vaccinated to enter nightclubs from the end of September, and could extend this to sports events and concerts.

Officials are also worried that people may relax given the marked decline in U.K. infections in the past week, which has puzzled scientists and raised hopes that the crisis may be coming to an end.

The government has rushed to dampen any celebration, pointing out that the data on daily cases don’t yet reflect the impact of lifting virtually all pandemic restrictions in England on July 19.

‘Very Cautious’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told broadcasters earlier on Tuesday it is “very, very important that we don’t allow ourselves to run away with premature conclusions” about the decline in new infections.

“People have got to remain very cautious and that remains the approach of the government,” he said.

Falling Covid Cases Are Welcome Surprise for U.K. Scientists

Scientists have cited the recent mini heatwave, start of the school holidays and the end of the soccer European Championship as potential factors for the fall in cases — alongside the vaccine rollout.

The death figures released Tuesday show it will take some weeks before lower case numbers translate into easing pressure on the National Health Service.

Some 5,918 patients were in U.K. hospitals with Covid-19 as of Monday, up from 4,615 a week earlier.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted