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Coronavirus pandemic facts

Here you will find facts and information about the coronavirus pandemic.

All information has been taken from trusted sources including the NHS and UK government. Information may change so please continue to check back for the latest updates.

COVID-19 deaths in Derbyshire

1,297 people in Derbyshire have died who have COVID-19 between March 2020 and 13 January 2021. Currently, the government counts the number of deaths that occur within 28 days of a positive test.

We publish the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Derbyshire on our website every week.

COVID-19 deaths are counted in the way that is recommended by international guidance.

Increase in deaths this year

There are sadly more deaths in the UK as a whole than would normally be expected at present.

Deaths registered between 21 March 2020 and 25 December 2020 are 19% higher than expected, meaning there has been a fifth more deaths than would normally be expected.

This is based on the numbers of deaths which are above those expected based on death rates in previous years. These additional, unexpected deaths are known as excess deaths. There have been 69,925 excess deaths in the UK during that time period. 

Counting COVID-19 deaths

COVID-19 deaths in the UK are being counted correctly, based on international guidance.

Currently, the government counts the number of deaths that occur within 28 days of a positive test. 

Counting the number of people who have died from COVID-19 related illnesses is complicated. COVID-19 infection can sometimes lead to death quickly after diagnosis. However, it can also cause death a number of weeks after this. Someone who tests positive from COVID-19 could die for another cause such as cancer or heart disease at any time. There is no agreed time period after which COVID-19 can be ruled out as a cause of death and so the 28 day measure was adopted to make sure covid-related deaths were not under-estimated. 

The government also publish the number of deaths where COVID-19 is recorded on the death certificate.

COVID-19 death rate

Scientists calculated that until the end of June 2020 the percentage of people getting COVID-19 that then died from the virus was about 0.9%. This means slightly less than one in every 100 people who get COVID-19 go on to die from it.

In a typical high-income country such as the UK, with a greater concentration of elderly individuals, scientists estimate the overall infection fatality rate to be 1.15%. 

Comparing COVID-19 and flu

COVID-19 and flu are caused by different viruses and they have different symptoms. Both viruses spread very easily, can be a deadly disease and can cause serious illness requiring hospitalisation.

During this pandemic COVID-19 has caused more people to be admitted to hospital and caused more deaths. 

The Office for National Statistics have reported that the mortality data for COVID-19 is higher than flu and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average.

Young people and COVID-19

Young and healthy people can become very ill or die of COVID-19. No one knows how their bodies will react or recover from coronavirus and this is true no matter what age you are.

People that are older and people with other health problems are most affected by COVID-19. However, young people and healthy people can also die or get very ill from it. 

For some people, COVID-19 leads to symptoms that last weeks or months after the original infection has gone. This is sometimes called post COVID-19 syndrome or 'long COVID'.

Busier hospitals this winter

Hospitals are busier than usual this winter and the NHS is under more pressure.

Hospitals are always busy in the winter. But this year is different and in many parts of the country the NHS is facing a very dangerous situation.

Protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed is a key aim of COVID-19 restrictions. 

By sticking to the rules, we are all playing a key part in keeping the pressure off the NHS as much as possible. 

If we can keep infection rates as low as possible this will help the NHS to continue to provide emergency care and routine care for other health conditions.

Read the government's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Witty's statement about hospitals and the NHS.

Page last updated 29 January 2021.