The latest government figures reveal that the United Kingdom has recorded the lowest daily increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths since pre-lockdown. A further 55 individuals died due to deadly coronavirus in the UK, taking the death toll to 40,597. This included no new coronavirus deaths reported in both Northern Ireland and Scotland for the second consecutive day. However, fewer deaths tend to be reported on Mondays, because of the reporting lag over the weekend.
The number of new cases; 1,205 is also the lowest since the beginning of lockdown. The day when lockdown started, 23 March, there was an increase of 74 deaths. The United Kingdom is the second country, after the United States, which has reported 40,000 deaths. The welcome decline in coronavirus deaths announced is encouraging sign but there are always delays in recording deaths over the weekend.
Last Monday, only 100 new deaths were announced, but on other days of last week reported more than 300. In any case, it shows that progress is being made. Two Mondays prior there were 120 deaths and in the week prior to that, there were 160 reported deaths. During the peak of the deadly coronavirus in the UK, there were over 1,000 deaths per day. The current challenge is to make sure that the figures remain low as restrictions are eased.
There were no reports of new coronavirus deaths from London hospitals for the second consecutive day. However, NHS England said that it knew about the small number of individuals who had died due to coronavirus over the weekend and would be included in figures in the coming few days. Three more deaths due to the virus were announced in Wales.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told that the rate at which the coronavirus replicates remained below one in the country but said that while the figure was the lowest since lockdown started, 55 fatalities were “55 too much”. He said that there are encouraging signs on all of the critical measures, this novel virus is in retreat over the land but their plan is working and the declines are encouraging for continuing the plans by putting safety and caution first.
Shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth asked the government to continue with caution but said many people are currently feared that the prime minister is beginning to throw all the cautions to the wind. At the daily briefing, Mr Hancock said the data was pointing in the correct direction and indicated that we are winning the fight with the COVID-19 yet have further to go. He said that the government was prepared to make a move in response to local coronavirus outbreaks if the R number apparently rose. This will mean, for example, action in particular care homes or particular hospitals to ensure there is control of outbreaks.
Mr Hancock announced the launch of the national social care COVID -19 taskforce which is led by the previous head of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, David Pearson. He said that all residents and staff at 6,000 care homes for disabled adults in England will get COVID-19 tests, following on from his claim that the government had hit its target of testing residents and staff for the over-65s.
The health secretary denied there was an exchange off between health and the economy, in the midst of reports the government is considering to ease restrictions and said the second spike would be immensely damaging to the country’s economy. The report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that deaths due to coronavirus in the UK had reached above 48,000 by 22 May.