Saturday 2 May 2020

UK records 739 more coronavirus deaths - taking Britain's official COVID-19 fatality count to 27,510

The UK has today announced 739 more coronavirus deaths, taking Britain's official fatality toll to 27,510. 
Officials also recorded another 6,000 cases, with 177,000 Britons having now been infected since the crisis began in February - but a lack of testing means potentially millions of cases have been missed. 
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed the figures, which include fatalities in all settings, in tonight's Downing Street press conference. 
Officials do not provide a daily breakdown of how many COVID-19 deaths occurred in different settings, such as hospitals or care homes.

But at least 352 of the fatalities occurred in hospitals because NHS England reveals new deaths recorded by trusts every afternoon. 

Scotland (40), Northern Ireland (18) and Wales (17) all include care home deaths in their daily updates - but their tallies do not necessarily line-up with the official count provided by the Department of Health because of how they are recorded.  
Ministers finally caved in to mounting pressure to include COVID-19 fatalities in care homes in the daily updates this week, amid claims thousands of victims were being missed. 
The revised count added almost 4,000 more deaths onto the historical toll. But top statisticians warned the recount was still missing thousands of victims because it only includes lab-confirmed cases, despite ministers rationing almost all the testing kits to hospitals for the first month of the outbreak.
Experts today warned the crisis in care homes may not peak for months, saying the industry's outbreak is a 'long way behind'.  
In another tumultuous day of coronavirus developments:
  • Mr Hancock faced questions about his 100,000-a-day testing target tonight amid claims the figures have been manipulated to get over the mark;
  • Ministers were warned the 'stay at home' messaging may have worked too well amid fears 'coronaphobia' could stop the UK getting back up and running;
  • It was revealed Boris Johnson will unveil his 'comprehensive' lockdown exit plan next Thursday amid fears 'coronaphobia' could stop the country getting back up and running
  • An interactive map has broken down exactly how many coronavirus deaths have been recorded across England and Wales;
  • A top midwife warned coronavirus could lead to a surge in baby deaths because women enduring a difficult pregnancy are afraid to go to hospitals;
  • Ministers faced demands to push for South Korea-style contact tracing amid signs that the 100,000 a day target for coronavirus tests has been met; 
  • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being 'slow at every turn' in the response to the crisis; 
  • Ryanair announced 3,000 job cuts as it revealed it expects to operate under 1 per cent of its schedule between April and June.

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