Coronavirus: UK Covid-19 toll over 41,000, with 10,000 care homes deaths

UK was insufficiently prepared for pandemic secret document reveals

UK was insufficiently prepared for pandemic secret document reveals

Speaking at the latest Scottish Government coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said 14,655 people have tested positive for Covid-19, a rise of 61 from 14,594 the previous day.

Earlier today, Boris Johnson's spokesperson confirmed that 5,889 care homes in England have reported a suspected coronavirus outbreak as of yesterday.

Just over a quarter (27%) of all deaths in England from the virus were in such places, compared with a European average of about half, he told MPs.

This was 49,575 more deaths than the average for this period in the previous five years.

Such a high United Kingdom death toll increases the pressure on Johnson, who says the government is following scientific advice.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the ONS, said that death registrations for the week ending May 8 were about 20% lower than if there had been no bank holiday.

Meanwhile, Public Health Wales said a further 17 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths in Wales to 1,224.

"Most of them in care home settings, but a significant chunk have happened in hospital".

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The figures also show that 121,002 deaths were registered in England and Wales between March 21 and May 8 2020.

However, when looking at how many COVID-19 deaths there were compared to non-coronavirus, the COVID-19 deaths made up a higher percentage in care homes that week, rising to 39.2% compared with 37.8% the week before.

This is the second weekly fall in a row, down from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days - a decrease of 31%.

This is because the ONS figures include all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected cases, and are based on the date that deaths occurred.

He said: "Our fear since last week has been that with the easing of restrictions we will see numbers of people infected in the general population increase with a knock-on effect to the vulnerability of those in the care sector".

She added: "Social care has not had the same priority as the NHS and these services have not been treated as inexplicably linked".

Christina McAnea, assistant general secretary at UNISON, which represents carers, added that the figures reveal that the social care system is "unfit for purpose" and reveal the "shocking price paid by elderly and vulnerable people whose families believed they were being kept safe".

Bosses say homes were not given enough personal protective equipment, were given hospital patients who hadn't been tested for the virus, and it has now emerged that untested temporary staff may have been inadvertently spreading the illness in the sector's scramble to fill vacancies left by workers in self-isolation.

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