UK's official coronavirus death toll rises by 186 to 43,414

26 June 2020, 20:04

Today's death toll is 13 higher than last Friday's figure
Today's death toll is 13 higher than last Friday's figure. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The UK's coronavirus death toll has risen by 186, taking the country's official total to 43,414.

There have also been a further 1,006 people test positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in Britain to almost 310,000.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were 165,665 tests available today, although 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 be at least 10,000 higher.

Britain's total number of tests to have been carried out or posted out now stands above 8.9 million (8,911,226).

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

Today's figure is 13 higher than last Friday's figure of 173.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public to observe social distancing in the hot weather after droves of people flocked to beaches on Thursday.

Government ministers have said they are "reluctant" to close beaches, but will do so if needed. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested beaches could be closed by the government if infections rise.

On Friday, the prime minister said people are "taking too many liberties" as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Johnson said: "Let me be very clear about the scenes in Bournemouth - it's very important for people to understand if you look at what's happening elsewhere in the world where people have been coming out of lockdown.

"I'm afraid what you're also seeing is people taking too many liberties with the guidance, mingling too much, not observing social distancing.

"Some parts of the world - I won't name them - you've got really serious spikes in the instances of the diseases."

Meanwhile, new figures from NHS Blood and Transport show the number of transplants taking place in the UK has dropped by more than a third in the first five months of the year, largely due to coronavirus.

In an LBC exclusive, senior reporter Matthew Thompson revealed there were 780 fewer transplants between January and May than might otherwise have been expected, a drop of 37 per cent.

The majority of those were kidney transplants (555) but also included a large number of liver transplants (122) and smaller numbers of pancreas, heart and lung transplants.

The drop was described by an NHS Blood and Transplant source as the result of a “perfect storm” created by COVID-19.

The data, prepared for the Department of Health and Social Care, was partially revealed in response to a Parliamentary written question last week, but the full analysis has now been seen by LBC.

On one hand, the virus caused a large number of transplant centres to be closed, to avoid exposing vulnerable patients to infection. But, there has also been a significant drop in the number of potential donors.

For more on Matthew's exclusive, click here.

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