Health Care

Nearly 55,000 excess United Kingdom deaths during Covid-19 outbreak, says ONS

Nearly 55,000 excess United Kingdom deaths during Covid-19 outbreak, says ONS”

Britain's official coronavirus death toll is at least 41,000 with nearly 10,000 dead in care homes in England and Wales alone, according to a statistical update released on Tuesday.

The number of excess deaths registered in the United Kingdom during the Covid-19 outbreak has risen to just under 55,000 according to official figures as a leading scientist suggested the country could experience days without deaths attributable to the virus by the end of June.

Even though the figures coming out are encouraging, the number of deaths and cases is typically lower over the weekend, and NHS England also confirmed that the Covid-19 patient notification system stopped working on May 16 briefly.

The latest ONS figures show the daily total of Covid-19 deaths in care homes in England and Wales has not been higher than 300 since 29 April, and no higher than 200 since 5 May.

Deaths in care homes fell at a slower rate than the population at large, and the total number of deaths in care homes in England and Wales now stands at 9,975.

The proportion of hospital Covid-19 deaths continued to decrease, making up 50.5% of the coronavirus-related deaths in the week ending May 8.

Data from the ONS includes all deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned in the death certificate and differs from the numbers published by the Department of Health and Social Care, which include only deaths occurring among those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Tuesday's ONS release brings the UK-wide total number of coronavirus-related deaths to just over 44,000, according to analysis from the PA news agency.

Nearly 55,000 excess United Kingdom deaths during Covid-19 outbreak, says ONS

The figures also show that 121,002 deaths were registered in England and Wales between 21 March and 8 May 2020.

She added that it had taken a while for several countries to update their guidance, and pointed out that South Korea - lauded for its handling of its outbreak - had not suffered one care home death of COVID-19.

This was 49,575 more deaths than the average for this period in the previous five years.

Sarah Scobie, the deputy director of research at the Nuffield Trust health think-tank, said: "We are now seeing the number of deaths across all settings fall week to week".

All figures are based on death registrations.

Covid-19 was responsible for 37,187 of these excess deaths, or 75%.

There were 1,369 death notifications made to the CQC in the week ending May 15, and around 3,500 Covid-19-linked deaths of care home residents in hospitals, up to May 1.

The Health Foundation said the figures suggest that "action has come too late to stem the avoidable loss of life for care home residents, and social care staff".

More news: Trump fires back after Obama swipes at his coronavirus response

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