Another 684 people have died from coronavirus in Britain, taking the total number of fatalities to 19,506.
Officials also announced that 5,386 people tested positive for the killer virus in the last 24 hours, meaning 143,464 have now officially been diagnosed.
NHS England confirmed a further 587 people died with COVID-19 and another 174 deaths were announced across Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland will announce its new cases and deaths this afternoon.
But there was again today a disparity in the true toll, with the individual nations announcing 761 fatalities between them because of a difference in how they are recorded.
Department of Health figures also show the true number of cumulative deaths jumped by 768 – but 84 of these were historically revised so are not included in the daily jump.
Victims in England were aged between 40 and 102 years old, and 34 of them had no known underlying health conditions.
The Government had hoped to keep the number of victims to 20,000 or lower but recent trends suggest the UK will hit that tomorrow counting hospital deaths alone.
Meanwhile, more questions emerged over the true number of Britons dying in care homes today after figures from Northern Ireland showed a third of all fatalities were elderly residents.
Data from England and Wales has suggested the true number of deaths outside hospitals – which are the only ones recorded by the Department of Health – is around 15 per cent.
But figures from Scotland show the rate is around 40 per cent, which could mean the UK’s true death toll from COVID-19 is more than 27,000.
Another 684 people have died from coronavirus in Britain, taking the total number of fatalities to 19,506. Officials also announced that 5,386 people tested positive for the killer virus in the last 24 hours, meaning 143,464 have now officially been diagnosed
The 684 new deaths mark a 7 per cent rise from yesterday’s 638. Experts are not surprised by the tiny jump as they expect daily deaths to plateau for a few more weeks before plummeting.
The number of daily coronavirus tests carried out in Britian rose from just under 24,000 yesterday to 28,532 today after the Government launched a new website for key workers to book coronavirus swabs.
However it is still way off ministers’ ambitious goal of 100,000 daily tests by the end of the month, a target that looks impossible despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s insistence that the country will reach it.
A total of 1,184 patients have now died in Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19, a rise of 64 from 1,120 on Thursday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a further 288 had tested positive for the killer virus, meaning 138,609 people in Britain have now been officially diagnosed.
Speaking at her daily press briefing, Mrs Sturgeon revealed the number of people in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 is 1,710, down from 1,748 yesterday.
She added that 141 of these patients are intensive care, seven less than there were on Thursday.
Mrs Sturgeon described the drop in hospital and ICU figures as ‘a growing cause for optimism that the lockdown is working to suppress the virus’.
Meanwhile Wales recorded 110 more deaths, a surge from 17 yesterday, and 243 new cases of the lethal infection. It takes the country’s total fatalities to 751 and infections to 8,601.
The 110 patients who succumbed to the virus did not die yesterday, but a lag in the way deaths are recorded means they have only now been accounted for.
As Britain’s coronavirus death tally edges closer to 20,000:
- Traffic has returned to London’s A40, with 10 per cent more cars hitting the roads as shops, building sites and factories reopen
- Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish people could soon be allowed to meet with a ‘bubble’ of up to friends or family as deaths and cases continue to fall
- Northern Ireland has similarly signalled it could lift restrictions independently of the rest of the UK
- But Wales maintains that people should not leave their home unless absolutely essential as hundreds more people continue to die every day
- The FTSE 100 index of Britain’s largest companies dropped by 86 points or 1.48 per cent to 5,740 this morning after drug trials showed anti-Ebola medicine Remdesivir does not help coronavirus patients
- An ex-top civil servant said the UK should allow a Sweden-style ‘phased’ easing of the coronavirus restrictions beginning in June
Figures from the AA show show more car journeys than at any point over the past few weeks in a sign the economy is slowly restarting after the UK first entered coronavirus restrictions at the end of March
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