Covid in the UK: how cases, hospitalisations and deaths in December 2021 compare to this time last year

The Government is considering tougher Covid rules but how do cases, hospitalisations and deaths compare with last year?

Ministers are deciding on whether tougher Covid rules will be introduced as infections surge across the UK.Ministers are deciding on whether tougher Covid rules will be introduced as infections surge across the UK.
Ministers are deciding on whether tougher Covid rules will be introduced as infections surge across the UK.

The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the UK and the Prime Minister is said to be considering introducing tough new restrictions on socialising - a situation reminiscent of last Christmas.

However, the country is in a very different position than it was last December.

The vaccine rollout has had a huge impact on the number of deaths and hospitalisations but infections are surging across the country.

Based on analysis of Government data we reveal how the pandemic has changed across the UK in the last year.

The analysis covers the time period 11 December 2020 to 11 December 2021.

How many positive cases are there in the UK?

Positive coronavirus cases are dramatically higher this December in the UK than they were on the same day last year.

This year (on 11 December) the UK recorded 46,422 new cases of coronavirus, 93% more than on the same day last year when 24,052 new infections were reported.

On Sunday (19 December) this number had risen to 82,886, 12,133 of which were confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. There are now 37,101 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK.

The case rate, which is based on a seven day rolling average, is also much higher this year.

Last year positive case rates were 203.7 per 100,000 of the population while this year the case rate was 536.6 per 100,000.

Case numbers are based on the number of new cases by specimen date.

How many more deaths have there been in the UK?

The vaccine rollout may have seen deaths plummet in the last year but more than 80,000 deaths have been recorded in the last year.

On 11 December 2020 65,165 deaths had been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

One year on and an additional 81,534 people have died, bringing the total to 146,699.

This is a 125.1% rise in the total number of deaths.


The daily number of deaths is dramatically different too.

On 11 December 2020 the UK recorded 453 new deaths, while this year 92 deaths were recorded on the same day.

The figures are based on the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test by date of death.

How many people are in hospital?

Hospital cases have also plummeted.

The number of people in hospital has more than halved in comparison to the same time last year.


Last year nearly 17,000 people were in hospital with coronavirus, including 1,275 people on mechanical ventilation beds but this year the number in hospital has dropped 56% with 7,365 people being treated in hospital with the disease, including 883 people on mechanical ventilation beds.

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