Another 633 people have died in UK hospitals after contracting coronavirus, taking the death toll to at least 21,749. Today’s jump follows an increase of 360 deaths yesterday, which was the lowest daily increase for four weeks.
The toll was updated after England recorded another 546 deaths. Scotland reported 70 deaths, while 17 were recorded in Wales. Northern Ireland has not yet released its figures.
A total of 21,749 deaths is calculated by combining the self-reported totals from England (19,295), Scotland (1,332), Wales (813), and Northern Ireland (309, as of yesterday).
The combined daily increase from the three nations (not including Northern Ireland) comes to 633, which could be different to the figure later released by the Department of Health (DoH) this afternoon.
The government has said this difference is because each devolved authority often makes amendments to their own data after reporting deaths to the DoH each day.
It is important to note that all of these deaths occurred in hospitals across the UK. They do not take into account the people dying at home, in care facilities, hospices, or other locations outside of hospitals. The latest figures were released after new data showed the true coronavirus death toll could be 35% higher than government figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 21,284 people in England had died by April 17 with mentions of Covid-19 on their death certificates, compared with 13,917 in the government’s daily toll.
The ONS recorded a further 1,016 deaths recorded in Wales, which is nearly double the number – 534 – recorded by the government. That would take the UK’s total death toll beyond those reported by France and Spain as of April 17, though lower than Italy’s total toll. Earlier today, the nation held a minute’s silence to honour those who have lost their lives on the frontline.
People across the UK paused for a minute in tribute to the sacrifice made by those in roles ranging from doctors and nurses to carers, cleaners, porters and bus drivers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has just returned to work this week after recovering from Covid-19, joined the countrywide commemoration, as did Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The NHS is now preparing to resume key non-coronavirus services, including the most urgent cancer care, over fears thousands of patients could be having their illnesses made worse or missed altogether.
Earlier, the Health Secretary was confronted on LBC radio by the son of a medic who died two weeks after warning the Government about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Intisar Chowdhury, 18, the son of Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, a consultant urologist at Homerton hospital in east London, asked Mr Hancock whether he regretted not taking his father’s concerns seriously and asked him to ‘openly acknowledge’ there had been mistakes in handling the virus.
Answering the question, the Health Secretary said: ‘Intisar, I’m really sorry about your dad’s death and I have seen the comments you’ve made and what you’ve said in public and I think it’s very brave of you. ‘We took very, very seriously what your father said and we’ve been working around the clock to ensure that there’s enough protective equipment.’
Featured Image Credit: Medical workers wearing equipment to protect themselves from coronavirus bring a patient to St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster in London, April 6, 2020 (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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