United Kingdom coronavirus death toll rises above 32,000 to highest in Europe

Henrietta Strickland
May 5, 2020

ONS data shows that there was 29,710 coronavirus deaths up to 24 April in England and Wales, this includes 5,890 in care homes.

A total of 32,375 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered across the UK.

While different ways of counting make comparisons with other countries hard, the figure confirmed Britain was among those hit worst by a pandemic that has killed more than 250,000 worldwide.

Britain's official death toll, which includes cases where there was a positive test for the virus, stands at 28,734, just behind Italy's 29,079 and the third-highest in the world.

"The U.K. has been hit very hard in this wave of COVID-19 and each death will (have) brought sadness to families", said Professor James Naismith of Oxford University, who is director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute of medical research.

However, there are discrepancies in how deaths are recorded across Europe, so the figures are subject to change.

Britain has been on lockdown for more than six weeks, with nonessential businesses shuttered across the country. Heneghan added, referring to a list dominated by Europe. Many argue that excess mortality, or the number of deaths from all causes compared with the yearly average for a given time of year, is a more useful metric that provides extra context and nuance for the headline figures. ONS statistician Nick Stripe told the BBC: "Almost four times more deaths than we would expect to see at this time of year were registered". The equivalent number for hospital deaths over this period is 19,643.

It is unclear if daily care home deaths will continue to decrease as the available data only covers up to a week after April 17.

Commenting on the ONS data, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said "any talk of being "past the peak" of this virus is meaningless given these figures".

Nearly four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and worldwide politics.

Critics accused Britain's Conservative government of responding too slowly when COVID-19 began to spread and failing to contain the outbreak by widely testing people with symptoms, then tracing and isolating the contacts of infected people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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