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Coronavirus UK: Death toll hits 20,735 with 350 new fatalities

Britain’s lowest coronavirus daily death toll for a MONTH: England, Scotland and Wales announce just 350 COVID-19 fatalities

  • The preliminary figure has yet to be confirmed by the Department of Health, which provides an official tally
  • England declared 329 more COVID-19 deaths, Scotland 13 and Wales 8. Northern Ireland has yet to declare
  • The daily death toll is known to drop on Sundays and Mondays because of a recording lag in NHS hospitals
  • But the sharp fall adds to evidence that the peak of the UK’s crisis has gone, with April 8 the deadliest day
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

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The UK today announced 350 more coronavirus deaths – the lowest daily count recorded since March 30 when just 180 fatalities were registered. 

Department of Health officials have yet to confirm the daily toll in hospitals. But England today declared 329 more COVID-19 deaths, Scotland 13 and Wales eight. Northern Ireland has yet to release its daily update. 

Although the statistics are known to drop following the weekend, the sharp fall adds to evidence that the peak of the UK’s epidemic has blown over, with April 8 known to be Britain’s deadliest day (980).

The daily death toll – which took the total number of COVID-19 victims past 21,000 – is 22 per cent lower than the 449 coronavirus deaths announced last Monday and more than half the 717 declared on April 13. 

In a message of hope for millions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson – back in charge after weeks recuperating from a serious scare with the killer disease – today admitted we are near the ‘end of the first phase’ of COVID-19.

In other developments to Britain’s coronavirus crisis today: 

  • NHS doctors have been issued an urgent alert about a sharp rise in the number of children being admitted to intensive care with a serious ‘inflammatory syndrome’ that may be linked to coronavirus;
  • Boris Johnson announced his comeback with a plea for Britons to stick to coronavirus lockdown rules – amid mounting signs the public is starting to take matters into its own hands by getting back to work;
  • Economists warned the UK could take years to recover the ground it has lost, and taxpayers will be footing the bill for the government’s bailouts for decades;
  • A partial membership list of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) which informs the Government’s coronavirus response is to be published after concerns about a lack of transparency;
  • Ministers have insisted the 100,000-a-day target for coronavirus tests can be met this week despite the current level languishing at around 29,000.

Paramedics take a patient back into St Thomas' Hospital in central London

Paramedics take a patient back into St Thomas’ Hospital in central London

Announcing his long-awaited comeback today, Mr Johnson urged Britons to stick to coronavirus lockdown rules amid mounting signs the public is starting to take matters into its own hands by getting back to work.

The PM channeled Sir Winston Churchill’s famous speech about the ‘end of the beginning’ by saying there are ‘real signs’ the UK is making ‘progress’. 

However, he warned it was also the ‘moment of maximum risk’ and now is not the time to ‘go easy’ on the virus by loosening ‘social distancing’ rules. 

‘We are now beginning to turn the tide,’ he said in a Downing Street press conference. ‘I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe now we are coming to the end of the first phase of this conflict.’ 

Mr Johnson said once the disease was under control the draconian curbs can be ‘refined’, and the government would say more in the ‘coming days’ about how it will ‘fire up the engines of this vast UK economy’.  

The government is facing growing alarm that while the rules have succeeded in stemming the spread of the killer disease, they are also bringing the economy to its knees.

BORIS JOHNSON ADMITS WE ARE ‘NEAR THE END’ OF THE FIRST PHASE 

In a statement in Downing Street, the PM assured the country he is back in charge after weeks recuperating from a serious scare with the killer disease

Boris Johnson announced his comeback with a plea for Britons to stick to coronavirus lockdown rules today – amid mounting signs the public is starting to take matters into its own hands by getting back to work.

In a statement in Downing Street, the PM assured the country he is back in charge after weeks recuperating from a serious scare with the killer disease, and urged people to be ‘patient’.

With his trademark blond mane looking longer and more unkempt than usual, Mr Johnson thanked everyone who had ‘stepped up’ in his absence. 

And he channeled Churchill’s famous speech about the ‘end of the beginning’ by saying there are ‘real signs’ the UK is making ‘progress’.

However, he warned it was also the ‘moment of maximum risk’ and now is not the time to ‘go easy’ on the virus by loosening ‘social distancing’ rules. ‘We are now beginning to turn the tide,’ he said. ‘I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe now we are coming to the end of the first phase of this conflict.’ 

Mr Johnson said once the disease was under control the draconian curbs can be ‘refined’, and the government would say more in the ‘coming days’ about how it will ‘fire up the engines of this vast UK economy’. He urged Opposition parties to work with him, pledging to be ‘transparent’ about decisions. 

Forecasters today warned the UK economy will not return to 2019 levels for three years – and taxpayers will be footing the bill for government coronavirus bailouts for decades.

The EY Item Club warned the recovery from the draconian curbs on activity might be slower than hoped, with the economy not expected to return to its late 2019 size until 2023.

NHS England today confirmed 329 more deaths, including 212 that occurred on Saturday and Sunday. The daily updates do not count fatalities that happened overnight – they only include those registered.

And the figures also only relate to deaths in hospitals, not in other places such as care homes. Official figures have suggested the true death toll could be up to 40 per cent higher than the Department of Health count. 

Of the new deaths in England, patients were aged between 29 and 100. Twenty-two of the victims, including a 29-year-old, had no known underlying conditions. England’s hospital death count now stands at 18.749.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced 13 more deaths, taking the country’s total fatality count to 1,262. And Wales has now had 796 victims, with eight more declared this afternoon.

It comes after Britain’s chief scientific adviser today revealed that he and other senior scientists warned politicians ‘very early on’ about the risk COVID-19 posed to care homes.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has been meeting approximately twice a week since its first coronavirus discussion on January 22.

Sir Patrick Vallance, who chairs the group along with Professor Chris Whitty, said they had ‘flagged’ the risk of care home and hospital outbreaks at the start of the epidemic.

While warnings about hospitals sparked a ‘protect the NHS’ mantra and a scramble to buy ventilators and free up beds, care homes saw no such efforts. Thousands of Britons in care are feared to have died from COVID-19.

The Government has been slated for its lack of support to care homes, with no routine testing available, no up-to-date records of the number of people infected or dead, and ‘paltry’ attempts to deliver adequate PPE.

Data about care home deaths is being counted separately to hospital data, was only first published on March 31 and is 10 days out of date each time it is released. The next set of figures will be released tomorrow.



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