Steve November 24, 2021

By The Visual and Data Journalism Team

BBC News

There have been more than 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and nearly 145,000 people have died, government figures show.

However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.

So far, 89% of people aged 12 and over in the UK have had their first vaccine dose, 81% have had their second and 32% have had a booster.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

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Daily cases remain high

The average number of daily confirmed cases has bounced around since mid-July and has been rising again since early November.

A further 39,716 confirmed cases were announced on Tuesday.

The emergence of the new Omicron variant means new temporary measures are being put in place as a precaution.

The new restrictions include the compulsory use of face coverings in shops and on public transport in England. Anyone entering the UK is required to take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and must self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

It is thought the infection rate in the first peak of the virus in spring last year was much higher than was evident from the reported number of cases. Testing capacity was then too limited to detect the true number of daily cases.

The red areas on the map below show the places currently seeing the highest number of cases per 100,000 people.

You can use our postcode look-up to check what the rules are where you live.

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Vaccine rollout continuing

Nearly 51 million people, 89% of those aged 12 and over in the UK, have now received a first dose of a vaccine.

The number of people who have received a second vaccine dose is now more than 46 million, or 81% of people aged 12 and over.

A booster campaign, for people aged over 40 or belonging to a number of other groups has been extended to all over-18s. The government says every adult will be offered a booster jab by the end of January, in an attempt to stop a potential wave of cases driven by the new Omicron variant.

More than 15 million booster doses have been administered in England so far, while that figure is about 1.7 million in Scotland, 880,000 in Wales and 390,000 in Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there are “good reasons” to believe the vaccines will provide at least some protection against the new Omicron variant.

“If you’re boosted, your response is likely to be stronger so it’s more vital than ever that people get their jabs and we get those boosters into arms as fast as possible,” he said.

The government announced vaccines will be given at 1,500 community pharmacy sites and extra hospital hubs in England, with 400 military personnel on-hand to help the NHS and vaccination volunteers.

Signs of daily deaths falling

There were 159 deaths within 28 days of a positive test reported on Tuesday.

Of those deaths, 143 were in England, 10 in Scotland, four in Wales and two were in Northern Ireland.

England has seen the majority of UK deaths since the pandemic began, with 126,000 so far.

Hospital numbers stable

The most recent government figures show people 7,631 with coronavirus in hospital in the UK, down from 8,128 a week earlier.

Although numbers of hospital patients with coronavirus are higher than they were over the summer, they are far below the peak of nearly 40,000 people back in January.

Looking at Covid patients in hospital by region, the numbers are higher than in the summer but have been falling slowly in some regions.

Death toll could be nearly 170,000

When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count deaths in three different ways, each giving a slightly different number.

First, government figures – the ones reported each day – count people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus. This figure is nearly 145,000.

According to the latest ONS figures, the UK has now seen nearly 168,000 deaths in total – that’s all those deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate even if the person had not been tested for the virus.

The third measure counts all deaths over and above the usual number at the time of year – that figure was more than 140,000 as of 12 November.

In total, there were 13,780 deaths registered in the week to 12 November, which was 17% above the five-year average.

Of the total deaths, 1,197 were related to coronavirus, three more than the previous week.

There have been more deaths involving Covid than “excess” deaths since the start of the pandemic, meaning non-Covid deaths must be below usual levels.

This could be down to the milder flu season last winter – due to less travel and more social distancing – and because some people who might have died for other reasons had there been no pandemic, died of Covid.

What is the R number?

The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

The government has said in the past that the R number is one of the most important factors in making policy decisions.

The latest R number estimate for England is 1.0 to 1.1, for Scotland it is 0.9 to 1.1, for Wales it is 0.8 to 1.0 and for Northern Ireland it is 1.1 to 1.3.

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