About 136000 people in England now infected with COVID-19

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That group includes care workers and home carers.

The new total excludes hundreds of further deaths in Scotland and deaths that occurred since May 1.

While different ways of counting make comparisons with other countries hard, the figure confirmed Britain was among those hit worst by a pandemic that has killed more than 285,000 people worldwide.

However the Care Quality Commission also collects information about people dying in care homes and in the week ending 8th May, the CQC is reporting 171 deaths suggesting the numbers are rising again. Adding the latest figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland and more up to date fatalities announced daily by the government that occurred in NHS settings, the total official United Kingdom death toll now stands at 40,011.

Comparatively, there were 72 male Covid-19 deaths in caring, leisure and other services roles; 54 in sales and customer services; and 66 in administrative positions.

Men in the lowest-skilled jobs had the highest rate of death involving COVID-19 among working-age people in England and Wales, according to data on Monday which also showed deaths among nurses and doctors was no higher than the average.

Nearly two-thirds of those deaths were among men, ONS said.

It comes as the chancellor announced the government scheme which is supporting 7.5 million workers during the coronavirus pandemic will be extended until the end of October.

Chancellor confirms the Job Retention Scheme will last until October
Nationwide, it is thought some 70% of firms are furloughing at least a portion of their staff during the pandemic. The Furlough scheme could be extended until September.

Detailed "Covid-19 Secure" guidelines for how businesses can reduce the risk of infection among their workforce is due to be published this week.

From that point it will continue, but employers will be expected to begin footing some of the multi-billion pound bill.

Despite the drop, the virus is still have a major impact on the overall number of deaths in care homes.

A total of 2,494 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the working-age population (those aged 20 to 64 years) of England and Wales were registered up to and including 20 April 2020.

Some countries included in the study have only seen handfuls or hundreds of deaths in care homes, compared to more than 9,000 in England and Wales.

In response to the latest figures, minister for care Helen Whately said that it was a "relief" that the number of deaths in care homes was falling. However, the researchers only counted rates for occupations with more than 20 deaths, "reducing the likelihood of the findings being a result of chance".

In contrast, there were 5.2 deaths per 100,000 for females.

ONS data shows how much higher the number of deaths related to COVID-19 are than initial government figures reported.

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