Lockdown helps slow pandemic in UK as death toll rises by 938 to 7,097


Medical staff from Britain's National Health Service (NHS) take a break outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 8, 2020, where Britain's prime minister began a third day in intensive care as he fights COVID-19.  (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Medical staff from Britain's National Health Service (NHS) take a break outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 8, 2020, where Britain's prime minister began a third day in intensive care as he fights COVID-19. (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

THE UK’s death toll rose by 938 to 7,097, marking the biggest daily spike so far—higher than Italy’s deadliest day with 919 fatalities.



England’s toll went up by 828 to 6,483, the health service said on Wednesday (8).

It added that 46 of the 828 patients, aged between 35 and 96 years, had no known underlying health condition.

Scotland reported 70 deaths, Wales 33, and Northern Ireland five.



Meanwhile, some positive news emerged as data gathered from 2 million people in Britain using a new COVID-19 symptom tracker app suggests lockdown measures are slowing the spread of the disease, researchers said on Wednesday.

The rate of new coronavirus symptoms reported in Britain has slowed significantly in the past few days, the King’s College London scientists said.

Their latest figures suggest that around 1.4 million people in Britain aged between 20 and 69 currently have symptomatic COVID-19, a fall from 1.9 million on April 1, as some have recovered and fewer people report new symptoms.



The drop in new symptoms suggests that although the numbers of CVOID-19 patients being admitted to hospital are rising, as are the numbers dying, these should start to fall in about two weeks if social distancing measures are kept in place.

Like many other countries hit by the pandemic, Britain has imposed strict social distancing along with shop and school closures. Introducing the measures more than 2 weeks ago, authorities also asked everyone to stay at home except for essential travel.

Tim Spector, who led the King’s team analysing the symptom tracker data, said the signs were “encouraging”.



“Even though hospital admissions and deaths are still on the rise, we hope that these figures offer a much needed light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Spector’s analysis comes after preliminary work by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine published a week ago also showed that social distancing may already be working by dramatically reducing the number of daily contacts between people.

Spector said his data showed, however, that Britain’s larger cities like London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool “continue to have very high levels of symptoms in the community”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Wednesday that Britain is in no position to ease the shutdown as the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak is still likely to be more than a week away.