Coronavirus: UK death toll rises by 245 to 41,128

10 June 2020, 19:57

The latest UK death toll has been announced
The latest UK death toll has been announced. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The UK's official coronavirus death toll has risen by 245 in the past 24 hours.

It means the total number of people who have died from the virus during the crisis in the UK officially stands at 41,128.

The government figures take into account deaths in hospitals, care homes and the community.

These figures do not include all deaths across the UK where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate. This figure is thought to have passed 52,000.

At today's coronavirus press briefing, Boris Johnson said a further 1,003 people tested positive for Covid-19 up to 9am on Wednesday.

170,379 tests were carried out or dispatched in the 24 hour period before 9am on Wednesday.

Overall, a total of 6,042,622 tests have been carried out and 290,143 cases have been confirmed positive.

The total number of infections since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 290,143.

Professor Neil Ferguson criticised the government's response
Professor Neil Ferguson criticised the government's response. Picture: PA

It follows one of the UK's top scientists, Professor Neil Ferguson's comments that the UK's coronavirus death toll could have been halved if lockdown was brought in one week earlier.

The scientist told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee briefing: "The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced.

"So, had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least a half."

However, he added that based on what was known about transmission and fatalities at the time, the measures were warranted.

Professor Ferguson was a member of the government's Sage committee, but resigned last month after being accused of breaking lockdown rules.

However, he told the committee he still sits on SPI-M, which advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

When asked what had gone wrong, Prof Ferguson said: "I think two things - one is a paper actually out in Nature, which highlights that around about that time, just before lockdown happened, the first two weeks of March, we probably had 1,500 to 2,000 infections imported from Italy and Spain, which we just hadn't seen in the surveillance data, until that point.

"So there is much heavier seeding than we'd expected."

He added: "The key things to determine number of deaths is at what point in your local epidemic you trigger interventions - how far in are you when you shut down transmission.

"And we frankly had underestimated how far into the epidemic this country was, that's half the reason.

"The second part, which I think would have been more avoidable, is about half of those deaths occurred in care homes."