Health Care

New data shows coronavirus causes a quarter of all care home deaths

New data shows coronavirus causes a quarter of all care home deaths”

Of the 12,526 deaths of care home residents linked to novel coronavirus, 11,371 were classified as confirmed cases and 1,155 as "suspected" by a certifying doctor, usually because a test was not undertaken.

The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures make hard reading but add some clarity to recent concerns about the extent of the pandemic in care homes across England and Wales.

Unexplained unexpected deaths in care homes in England and Wales can take the figure to more than 22,000.

The ONS said just over one in four deaths of care home residents in England and Wales between March 2 and May 1 involved Covid-19.

Between 28 December 2019 and 1 May, 73,180 deaths took place in England and Wales care homes - 23,136 more than in the same period past year. This was 23,136 more than the same period a year ago.

Figures also show that 23,136 more care home residents died between December 28, 2019, and May 1, 2020, than had died in the previous year.

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Another 348 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 33,998, the Department of Health and Social Care said Friday.

"This year the number of deaths in care homes for April was a staggering 26,000 - that's three times the average - 18,000 additional deaths this April".

The prime minister rejected claims that the government had been too slow to respond to the outbreak of the virus in care homes and said government data showed the number of outbreaks and deaths in care homes was falling.

Opposition parties and whistleblowers in the care sector have said hospitals allowed patients to be discharged from hospital into homes without adequate testing to determine if they had the virus.

Boris Johnson denied the government ever issued the advice, though it was still online this week, and under advice for face mask wearing it says "it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected".

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