THE true UK coronavirus death toll is over 44,000 – with 12,000 fatalities in care homes, shock new figures revealed today.
The Office for National Statistics figures show that 39,071 deaths involving the deadly bug occurred in England and Wales up to May 8 and had been registered up to May 16.
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The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland, published last week, showed 3,213 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to May 10.
And the most recent figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, also published last week, showed 599 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Northern Ireland up to May 13.
Together these figures mean that so far 42,883 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.
- 39,071 deaths involving the deadly bug occurred in England and Wales up to May 8
- Coronavirus was responsible for 40 per cent of deaths in care homes
- The number of deaths involving the virus was highest in the North West for the first time
- Fatalities involving COVID-19 continued to decrease across all English regions and Wales for the second week running
- 49,575 more deaths than average for this time of year were registered in England and Wales between March 21 and May 8
A further 1,211 hospital patients in England who had tested positive for Covid-19 died between May 9 and May 17, according to figures published on Monday by NHS England – which, together with the total figure of 42,883 registered deaths, indicates the overall death toll for the UK is now just over 44,000.
Meanwhile, coronavirus was responsible for 39.2 per cent of all deaths in care homes.
Meanwhile in care homes, 9,762 fatalities were recorded according to the Care Quality Commission, with Care Inspectorate Wales reporting 392.
National Records of Scotland stats previously published showed that 1,434 care home residents have died from coronavirus up to May 10.
The latest figures from the NI Statistics and Research Agency suggest 269 of coronavirus deaths in the country were from coronavirus.
Today's ONS figures showed weekly coronavirus-related deaths in care homes have fallen for the second week running to 1,666 in the week ending May 8, from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days – a decrease of 31%.
The situation in care homes has been thrust into the spotlight again this week amid a leaked report that claimed ministers knew a month ago that temporary workers were helping to spread the killer disease.
It comes after Brits were last night warned to learn to live with coronavirus for "several years" and prepare for a possible second wave of the bug.
England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned the country will only "be out of this" once a vaccine has been found – and that Covid-19 may return again in autumn and winter.
Speaking during last night's coronavirus briefing, Prof Van-Tam said it would take a vaccine "really capable of suppressing disease levels" for the country to be "out of this".
He added: "So from that perspective we may have to live, and learn to live, with this virus in the long-term, certainly for many months to come if not several years."
Prof Van-Tam said further information is needed on the seasonality of Covid-19,
He said: "One of the things that's very clear with flu viruses is that they come in our cold winters and the levels of transmission and circulation decline over the summer months.
"The data we have on other coronaviruses we have looked at very carefully, and it's not clear that these coronaviruses are as seasonal as influenza.
"But there may be an element of seasonality and it may well be that the autumn and winter conditions provide a better environment for the virus to then do its work again."
The World Health Organisation (WHO) previously dubbed it "the most promising" treatment for Covid-19 among all the other medicines being studied in trials.
It comes after the Health Secretary announced coronavirus tests would be made available to anyone in the UK aged five or over, if they need it.
Matt Hancock said anyone can apply to have a test if they show signs of having the virus – including if they lose their sense of taste or smell.
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