Weekly UK virus deaths at lowest level in six weeks

Grant Boone
May 29, 2020

Public Health Wales said a further 11 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths in Wales to 1,293.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, the chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge, said: "There's a huge spike in non-Covid deaths at home very quickly into the epidemic, close to the time when hospitals started minimising the normal service that they were providing".

The ONS figures show 42,173 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to May 15 when care home deaths are taken into account.

The government body today released the first results of its blood testing scheme, which found 60 people out of 885 (6.78 per cent) tested positive for Covid-19-specific antibodies in their immune systems.

To be clear, there have been more excess deaths per million people in the United Kingdom than in any other country, according to the FT.

Ongoing swab testing shows that 0.24 per cent of the population is now infected with the disease.

This equates to about 0.1 new cases per 100 people.

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We are still seeing far more deaths each week than would be expected at this time of year - all of which are concentrated in the over 45s.

There are fears that thousands of people have died at home or in care homes because they could not access medical treatment as resources were diverted to cope with the virus pandemic.

Nicola Sturgeon declared that lockdown is easing in Scotland - groups of up to eight people allowed to mix in parks and gardens.

This includes people who were never tested for the virus because of the government's decision to ration tests.

A separate set of data, not published before, was based on 885 blood tests to look for signs of coronavirus-specific antibodies in members of the public. Vulnerable residents and care workers looking after them have been left to fight the disease alone.

Infection rates in England have remained steady despite lockdown being eased slightly. It is reasonable to scale that to the entire of the United Kingdom, suggesting around 4.5million people have been infected.

This is similar to the amount found in its survey announced last week, which found 132,000 were infected at any time between 27 April and May 10.

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