TAKING ITS TOLL
UK coronavirus death toll hits 37,460 after 412 more die – as half of NHS trusts report no new deaths in 48 hoursby Britta Zeltmann
THE UK coronavirus death toll has risen to 37,460 after 412 more fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.
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Meanwhile, more than half of acute NHS trusts in England have reported no new coronavirus deaths in the last 48 hours - according to scientists analysing the data.
Today's spike in deaths is more than three times greater than yesterday's, when 134 fatalities were logged.
This is likely to be due to a lag in reporting over the long weekend when figures tend to be lower.
Today's jump is also bigger than the rise recorded last Wednesday (363) - although it remains smaller than every rise recorded on a Wednesday since lockdown began.
It comes as
- Britain could be "'back to normal by August"
- Local lockdowns could be thrown in place from Thursday
- Dentists could treat patients in next three weeks
- Ebola drug given green light to treat coronavirus
- Bojo to announce new track and trace programme
- The government has revealed the full list of retailers that can reopen on June 15
- Barbecues and garden parties could be allowed by the end of June
- Small numbers of children will head back to class when schools reopen from next week
In England, 26,049 hospital patients have died from the virus – up 183 from yesterday’s tally.
The rise, recorded by NHS England, is larger than any daily jump recorded in England since last Thursday, when 187 deaths were logged.
Again, this is likely to be due to a lag in reporting over the long weekend.
Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, said: "Today, for the first time over half of acute NHS trusts reported no deaths in the last 48 hours."
They added that 12 trusts had registered no Covid-19 deaths in the last week.
These included Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Today, for the first time over half of acute NHS Trusts reported no deaths in the last 48 hours.Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke
They also included Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Weston Area Health NHS Trust.
Today's data from England revealed patients were aged between 43 and 101 years old - and all but two of them had underlying health conditions.
It compares to figures recorded at the peak of the virus (April 10) when 56 out of 866 patients who died in England were healthy.
Although today's rise in England is greater than it was last Wednesday (166), it is significantly smaller than every daily rise recorded on a Wednesday throughout April and the rest of May, suggesting the coronavirus death rate continues to make a steady decline.
In Scotland, a further 13 deaths were recorded today, bringing the coronavirus death toll in Scotland to 2,304.
In Wales, 11 deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total there to 1,293.
Northern Ireland announced two deaths from the bug today - having reported no new coronavirus fatalities for the first time since March 18, yesterday.
The numbers come after the Office for National Statistics yesterday revealed 47,000 people could have been killed by the deadly bug in Britain already.
Combined with the latest ONS stats for Scotland and Northern Ireland, it means a total of 46,383 have died across the UK.
A further 964 hospital patients in England who had tested positive for Covid-19 died between May 16 and May 24 meaning that the overall UK death toll is just above 47,300.
The figure is 10,000 more than the official Department of Health stats.
Last night the Health Secretary suggested Britain has met four out of five tests for lifting the lockdown after sealing a huge PPE deal.
Speaking during the Government's daily coronavirus briefing, Matt Hancock revealed "significant progress" had been made on securing enough vital equipment to help protect those working on the front line in hospitals and care homes.
The Government did not outline specify, however, whether the new PPE supplies would cover dentists.
MPs have been pushing for dental surgeries to reopen, telling dentists to prepare to treat patients in the next three weeks.
Plans announced in Scotland stated that urgent care centres will be opened first followed by dental practices - England is set to follow these plans.
Meanwhile the antiviral drug remdesivir - originally developed to tackle Ebola - was given the green light for the NHS today.
Mr Hancock hailed the drug the "biggest step forward" in treating coronavirus since the crisis began, after trials found it helped hospitalised patients recover almost a third faster.
The good news comes as extreme lockdown measures are expected to be lifted soon, with barbecues and garden parties for ten person 'bubbles' expected to be allowed from the end of June.
An ex World Health Organisation expert has even said Britain could be "back to normal" by August.
The new plans would allow different households to meet for the first time in months, although they would be capped at two households at a time.
Tough local lockdowns could, however, be thrown in place from Thursday to rapidly isolate new coronavirus sufferers.
Boris Johnson is set to announce the Government’s crucial new ‘track and trace’ programme, which will go live either on Thursday or Friday, when an army of 25,000 contact tracers will begin work hunting down new cases.
It will mean whole towns could face their own lockdowns - with schools, businesses or workplaces closed - if there are regional flare-ups.
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