Britain records 23 more Covid-19 deaths in preliminary toll as Scotland records NONE for the fourth day in a row
- Department of Health officials have yet to confirm the final daily figure, which is often significantly higher
- The early count is calculated by adding up all the individual updates declared by each of the home nations
- NHS England recorded 19 deaths in patients who tested positive for Covid-19 in hospitals across the country
- Wales recorded three fatalities in all settings, followed by one in Northern Ireland and none in Scotland
Britain today announced 23 more coronavirus deaths in the preliminary toll — including none in Scotland for the fourth day in a row.
Department of Health chiefs have yet to confirm the final daily figure, which is often higher because it takes into account laboratory-confirmed fatalities in all settings.
The early count — which only includes a fraction of the coronavirus deaths in England — is calculated by adding up all of the individual updates declared by each of the home nations.
NHS England today posted 19 deaths in hospitals across the country. Wales recorded three Covid-19 fatalities in all settings, followed by one in Northern Ireland and none in Scotland.
Death tolls on Sundays and Mondays are always low because of a recording lag over the weekend. Just 15 fatalities were announced last Monday and 36 were registered yesterday.
It means the official death toll now stands at 43,573 — but the real number of coronavirus victims is thought to be in the region of 55,000, when all suspected deaths are taken into account.
In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:
- Portugal has reacted with fury after apparently being left off a list of countries that will be able to form quarantine-free air bridges with the UK;
- Public health bosses are desperately trying to track down 300 workers after 166 colleagues tested positive for Covid-19 at a food processing site that supplies Sainsbury’s and Asda;
- Leicester may be forced to extend the lockdown for a fortnight from Saturday while the rest of the UK edges towards normality because of a spike in cases, the city’s mayor revealed;
- The UK was accused of playing catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to spotting Covid-19 after US health chiefs added three new symptoms to an official coronavirus list;
- Award-winning poet Michael Rosen revealed the extent of his battle with coronavirus as the 74-year-old said he was left just hours from death when he was rushed to A&E;
- Sir Keir Starmer refused to tell teaching unions to step up their efforts to help reopen the nation’s schools as Gavin Williamson said parents who refuse to send their children back to the classroom will face fines.
Department of Health figures released yesterday showed 127,709 tests were carried out or posted the day before. The number includes antibody tests for frontline NHS and care workers.
But bosses again refused to say how many people were tested, meaning the exact number of Brits who have been swabbed for the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been a mystery for a month — since May 22.
Health chiefs also reported 901 more cases of Covid-19. Government statistics show the official size of the UK’s outbreak now stands at 311,151 cases.
The daily death data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.
The data does not always match updates provided by the home nations. Department of Health officials work off a different time cut-off, meaning daily updates from Scotland as well as Northern Ireland are always out of sync.
And the count announced by NHS England every afternoon — which only takes into account deaths in hospitals — does not match up with the DH figures because they work off a different recording system.
For instance, some deaths announced by NHS England bosses will have already been counted by the Department of Health, which records fatalities ‘as soon as they are available’.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed there had been no new deaths north of the border in an official government briefing this morning.
She said: ‘This is the fourth day in a row when no deaths of patients confirmed through a test have been recorded in Scotland.’
‘Now, of course, two of these days have been weekends and we know that registration can be artificially low at weekends, and we may see more deaths registered later this week.
‘But there’s no doubt that these recent figures demonstrate beyond any doubt how much progress Scotland has made in tackling Covid and that is down to the efforts and sacrifices of everyone across the country.’
Ms Sturgeon — who last week claimed Scotland was ‘not far away’ from eliminating the coronavirus — added: ‘I want again to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for that.’
In other developments today, Portugal has reacted with fury after apparently being left off a list of countries that will be able to form quarantine-free air bridges with the UK.
Tourism is the largest sector of the Atlantic nation’s economy and many areas including Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve are popular with UK holidaymakers.
But it is understood that the nation will not be on the initial list of green or amber nations allowed to couple-up with the UK under a traffic light system, as it is the only European nation with a higher rate of coronavirus infections than the UK.
Eduardo Cabrita, the Portuguese home affairs minister, told the country’s Diário de Notícia newspaper: ‘Portugal has better public health indicators and better pandemic response indicators than the United Kingdom.’