UK's coronavirus death toll nears 50,000, new figures show

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·News Reporter
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An ambulance crew from the South Central Ambulance Service remove their PPE3-level clothing after responding to a false alarm call for a heart attack in Portsmouth, south England on May 5, 2020. - As the list of recognised Covid-19 symptoms grows, paramedic crews like those with the South Central Ambulance Service are forced to treat every patient as being a potential case, often requiring specialised personal protective equipment (PPE). Paramedics now routinely don what the NHS refers to as Level 2 PPE, like face masks and disposable aprons. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The coronavirus death toll has almost reached 50,000 in the UK, new figures show. (AFP via Getty Images)

Almost 50,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, new data shows, well above the official toll of 39,045.

The figure now stands at 49,646, Reuters reported.

This combines the death certificate data from England and Wales, which was released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with past figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and recent deaths in English hospitals.

The number of deaths involving coronavirus was 10,000 higher than the government’s count on 22 May, the ONS data also shows. The ONS figures are for deaths registered up to 30 May.

It also reveals that 43,837 deaths involving COVID-19 took place from 28 December 2019 to 22 May in England and Wales.

In England, the toll stood at 42,210 but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recorded 32,666 for the same period, which is 9,544 lower.

The discrepancy in counting happens because DHSC counts deaths where the person had tested positive for COVID-19, while the ONS counts deaths where it was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.

Some 64% of deaths (28,159) involving COVID-19 happened in hospitals, the ONS said.

Meanwhile 29% (12,739) occurred in care homes, 5% (1,991) took place in private homes and 1% (582) happened in hospices.

Some 0.4% (197) happened in other communal establishments and 0.4% occurred elsewhere.

The UK remains the second-worst affected country by the coronavirus based on official figures, with only the US, which has reported 105,000 deaths, having a higher toll.

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