A bus passes a thank-you sign to the NHS on Oxford Street, following an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), London, England, May 12, 2020. (Reuters)
London – British Coronavirus, COVID-19, the death toll now exceeds 40,000, by far the worst ever reported in Europe, raising more questions about the handling of the coronavirus crisis by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales bring the official UK death toll to 38,289 on May 3, according to one Reuters death registration counting which also covers Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Since then, at least 2,251 people have died of COVID-19 in British hospitals, according to the latest daily data, bringing the number of actual deaths on Tuesday to more than 40,000.
While various methods of calculation make comparisons with other countries difficult, the figure confirms that Britain is among the most severely affected by the pandemic which has killed more than 285,000 people worldwide.
The data came a day after Johnson set out a phased plan to get Britain back to work, including suggestions for wearing homemade face masks – although his efforts to lift the coronavirus locking caused confusion.
Leaders of devolved countries – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – say that the advice given by Johnson only applies to Britain. They told people to stay home.
High mortality rates in the UK increase pressure on Johnson. The opposition said he was too slow to force closure, too slow to carry out mass testing and too slow to get enough protective equipment for the hospital.
The data painted gloomy pictures in nursing homes, which had been devastated by the virus.
“Caring about the house [are] unfortunately, it showed the slowest decline, “said ONS statistician Nick Stripe BBC TV.
“For the first time I remember, there were more total deaths at the nursing home than at the hospital that week.”
Nursing homes now make up about a third of all COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales.
“It’s a relief to see the number of deaths in nursing homes decrease but, unfortunately, they continue to make a significant proportion of corona virus-related deaths and our work is not done,” care minister Helen Whately said in a statement.
“Supporting the social care sector through this pandemic has always been a priority, and we do everything in our power to ensure they have everything they need to care for those who are in their care.” (Reuters)