Italy reports 236 new deaths, record drop in infections

Henrietta Strickland
May 6, 2020

The UK now has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe.

Earlier in the day, the Office for National Statistics published its latest coronavirus-registered death figures, showing the total death toll has passed 32,000, making Britain the worst-hit country in Europe followed by Italy.

"In this country, we have - in my opinion, and let me be clear I would say this, wouldn't I - but I think we have the best reporting, the most transparent reporting, and the most timely reporting, because we include death registrations - we've been pushing our death registration reporting as fast as we possibly can".

However, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged against trying to make reliable global comparisons.

Since different countries collect and report coronavirus data using different methods, the comparisons between regions are not flawless.

"Can you reliably know that all countries are measuring in the same way?"

Raab called the lives lost "a massive tragedy" and "something in this country, on this scale, in this way, that we've never seen before".

With fatalities from Northern Ireland and Scotland included, it means the UK's official toll is now higher than Italy's.

"For example, apparently around half of Belgium's deaths are people in care homes who have not been tested, and these would not feature at all in the daily United Kingdom figures".

The health ministry had previously announced only the deaths in hospitals of those who had tested positive for the virus.

They have risen dramatically as the extent of the pandemic's impact on care homes has emerged.

Almost 6,400 people with coronavirus have died in care homes in England alone, with numbers still rising even as the wider outbreak slows, according to the ONS figures.

MORE: 18 new coronavirus deaths in Norfolk care homes The Foreign Secretary dismissed global comparisons: "All I would just say is first of all 29,427 lives lost is a massive tragedy, something in this country, on this scale, in this way, we've never seen before".

As the U.K.' figures continue to surge, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday however said there was evidence of a continued flattening of the country's COVId-19 curve, but warned that it "is not over yet".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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