Darren Adam 1am - 4am
UK coronavirus death toll passes 29,000 with 693 more deaths in 24 hours
5 May 2020, 19:04
The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen to 29,427 following a further 693 reported deaths on Tuesday.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that 194,990 people have tested positive for the virus, an increase of 4,406 since Monday.
He also confirmed that 84,806 coronavirus tests were carried out in the previous 24 hours, below the government's daily target of 100,000.
It follows the news that 453 deaths were recorded in hospitals over the past 24 hours.
England recorded another 366 deaths in hospitals, Wales another 26, Scotland another 44, and 17 in Northern Ireland.
This figure is also different to the Office for National Statistics total, as this includes the deaths of people suspected but not confirmed to have Covid-19.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 29,648 deaths linked to coronavirus in England and Wales as of 24 April.
Adding the deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the toll rises to over 32,000. The death toll for Italy, which was previously the hardest-hit country in Europe, stands at 29,079, according to the latest figures.
When the Scottish and Northern Irish numbers are added in, it takes the UK's total to 32,313.
The ONS data shows there were 7,713 deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales registered up to 24 April that occurred outside hospitals.
Of these 5,890 took place in care homes, 1,306 in private homes, 301 in hospices, 105 in other communal establishments, and 111 elsewhere. The equivalent number for hospital deaths over this period is 19,643.
It means the UK now has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe.
Italy’s death toll from confirmed cases of Covid-19 currently stands at 29,079.
The US currently has the highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, with more than 69,000 deaths.
During Tuesday's press conference the Foreign Secretary dismissed international comparisons which put the UK as having the gravest death toll from coronavirus in Europe.
He said: "You are asking me to speculate there. All I would just say is first of all 29,427 lives lost is a massive tragedy, something in this country, on this scale, in this way, we've never seen before.
"In terms of the comparison you're suggesting... I don't think we'll get a real verdict on how well countries have done until the pandemic is over and particularly until we've got comprehensive international data on all cause of mortality."
But, in his defence of the Government, Mr Raab said there are different ways of counting death.
"We now publish data that includes all deaths in all settings and not all countries do that so I'm not sure that the international comparison works unless you reliably know that all countries are measuring in the same way," he said.
"And it also depends on how good frankly countries are at gathering their statistics and our own Office for National Statistics is widely acknowledged as a world leader.
"I don't think you can make the international comparisons you're suggesting at this stage, at least I don't think you can make them reliably."