19 death toll rises above 32,000, highest in Europe

Henrietta Strickland
May 5, 2020

The U.K. death toll from COVID-19 is now the highest in Europe after more than 30,000 deaths were recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 29,648 deaths linked to coronavirus had taken place in England and Wales as of 24 April.

The agency releases figures weekly, covers periods up to two weeks prior and includes coronavirus deaths in care homes and the community.

That is still higher than Italy, which on Tuesday said it has recorded 29,316 virus fatalities to date, but far short of the U.S. where almost 69,000 have died in the pandemic.

But from the Downing Street daily briefing this evening the UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government's latest figures put the total of United Kingdom deaths at 29,427 after a further 693 people died from the virus yesterday.

The full picture in both countries will not be known for some time, however.

That is more than Italy, though the recording of deaths there has differed.

The UK's deputy chief medical officer for England, Jenny Harris has warned against worldwide comparisons, but the dire picture will surely lead to more questions about the government's response.

This is because the ONS figures include all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected Covid-19, and are based on the date that deaths occurred.

Until late last month, the health ministry's daily tallies only counted those who died in hospital after having tested positive for COVID-19.

She added: "We need urgent action to get PPE to staff the frontline and tests for care workers".

"No country reports on death registrations data as fast, frequently, or to such breadth and depth as we can in the UK", Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the ONS, stated on Twitter.

He said: "We would kind of expect to see that impact of the lockdown now, so it's reassuring to see that the number of deaths have slightly dropped from that very high peak".

There was a peak for deaths in hospitals on April 8 (983 deaths).

The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland, published last week, showed 2,272 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to April 26.

However, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged against trying to make reliable global comparisons. Mortalities in care homes continued to rise.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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