The official UK coronavirus death toll was finally released today – at 9:22 PM.
The Department of Health and Social Assistance published the figures much later than usual today. Total deaths in the UK increased by 89-43,995.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson did not announce Thursday’s figures in a coronavirus announcement to the nation tonight.
It was the first press conference of this type since the government concluded the daily briefings by ministers in which the toll was normally announced.
LBC host Eddie Mair was among those who observed the glaring omission, noting that ministers used to announce that the nation was “crying” for those who had been lost while reading the daily death toll.
The broadcaster told listeners that the government should demonstrate that “it doesn’t give a damn” by recognizing those who had died.
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Yesterday the figure rose again from 176 to 43,906, while England is ready to reopen pubs and restaurants in just two days.
A note on an official statistics web page states that data from all settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and communities, would be merged from today, adding: “We are working to make the data available as soon as possible.”
It envisages the relaxation of the restrictions on Saturday 4th July which will allow the reopening of pubs and restaurants and services such as hairdressers to resume trading.
The changes concern England and not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Today, the hospital death toll has increased by 45.
Last Thursday, the death toll rose by 149 on June 25, and by 135 on June 18.
As reported by today’s data, Williamson also announced that class size restrictions for the first few years will return to normal by July 20 and that school attendance will be mandatory by September.
Experts are warning of the potential for a second wave, with Leicester this week becoming the first area in the UK to be put under local blockade after a spike in virus cases.
Critics are warning that the push of the “Super Saturday” to bring the British back to pubs and bars could lead to more outbreaks, as there is doubt about the ability of the revelers to stick to the social distancing guidelines.
Some chains including Pub Culture in the northeast commit themselves not to reopen their alcohol amid safety fears.
The latest official death toll records deaths in all settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and the entire community.
However, Britain’s true death toll has exceeded 54,000, according to data published in mid-June by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The new ONS data released today found about one in 2,200 people in England with Covid-19.
The data was based on analysis of swab tests from over 23,000 people.
It turned out that around 25,000 people in England had Covid-19 at any time between June 14th and June 27th.
The data examines infection rates in the community only and does not include nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions.