Fears number of frontline workers who have died from coronavirus has been ‘significantly under-reported’ – The Sun

THE NUMBER of frontline workers who have died from Covid is expected to be far higher than official figures admit, health chiefs yesterday warned.

So far, the deaths of 71 workers who were infected with coronavirus at work have been registered with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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This includes doctors, nurses, carers and other frontline staff keeping Britain moving during the crisis.

But the HSE said they think there has been “significant under-reporting” and the death toll is far higher.

They have written to NHS bosses to vent their “concern” and demand that all staff who catch Covid on the job and die are properly registered with them.

Meanwhile, separate analysis by the PA Media news agency has found that 162 health and social care workers have died after contracting Covid-19 since March 11.

'VERY LOW NUMBERS'

Sarah Albon, HSE chief executive, told MPs: “We think it is likely that we have had some significant under-reporting and that is particularly in
NHS settings where we have had very, very low numbers so far reported through to us.

“There are a number of reasons why they have been slow in coming through.

“But we are concerned that we are not getting the numbers we would expect and have been taking that up both with the NHS at a national level and individual authorities and we will pursue that.”






Giving evidence to the work and pensions committee, she added: “We are taking it up with the NHS and individual trusts to remind them of their obligations to report to us.”

Bosses have a legal obligation to tell the HSE about workers who die from being exposed to Covid-19 on the job within ten days.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier hailed the relatively low number of deaths of NHS staff.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Among people who work in the NHS, no more people have died than in the general population – I think that is a testament to how the NHS has performed.



“In almost all epidemics like this it is doctors and nurses who tend to bear the brunt.

“So far, in this epidemic in this country, there has been no higher death rate among health workers and I think that is a really good thing.” ENDS

An NHS spokesman said: “NHS England collates and reports the death of anyone who has died in an NHS hospital or other setting, based on information submitted by NHS hospital trusts in England, and after verification and any further checks that are required.”




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