UK's official coronavirus death toll rises by 38 to 41,736

15 June 2020, 20:31

The official number of people to die with coronavirus in the UK now stands at 41,736
The official number of people to die with coronavirus in the UK now stands at 41,736. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen by 38, taking the country's official tally to 41,736.

There have also been a further 1,056 people test positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in Britain to almost 300,000.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were 93,163 tests available today, but the number of people actually being tested is still not being recorded.

However, the government's official figures do not include all deaths involving coronavirus across the UK, which is believed to have passed 52,000.

Britain's total number of tests to have been carried out or posted out now stands close to 6.9 million (6,866,481).

The figure for the number of people tested has been “temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting” across all methods of testing.

It comes as thousands of people queued at stores across England after non-essential shops reopened for the first time since lockdown began on 23 March.

Long lines were seen at Primark stores across the country, with dozens of keen shoppers waiting outside branches of the chain in Birmingham, Derby, Liverpool and Nottingham.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, speaking at the government's daily coronavirus press conference, said scientists have stopped appearing at the briefings as regularly because they are too busy.

The government recently faced claims that the chief nurse, Ruth May, had been dropped from appearing after she refused to back Boris Johnson's chief aide Dominic Cummings, who was embroiled in a national row following allegations he broke lockdown rules.

Downing Street later refuted the allegations, but the Liberal Democrats have since written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding an explanation and accusing the government of "threatening" the confidence of the public.

Mr Johnson himself appeared to stop England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, and the chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, from answering the questions about the scandal.

Elsewhere on Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she hopes Scottish children will return to “normal schooling as quickly as we possibly can” as schools prepare for pupils to return on 11 August.

Scotland has reported no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, the third time the figure has remained the same since lockdown began, with the latest figures showing more than 18,000 people have now tested positive for the virus.

Public Health Wales said a further four people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,448, while the total number of cases increased by 62 to 14,804.

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