About 449 patients have died in hospitals around the UK from coronavirus. The count was revised after another 331 deaths were reported in hospitals in England, another 21 in Wales, another 83 in Scotland and another 14 in Northern Ireland.
The government is set to release the final death count later today, which would cover fatalities in nursing homes and society at large.
The current hospital statistics came as Boris Johnson set a fresh goal of checking for coronavirus at 200,000 individuals a day by the end of the month.
Although the government was heavily criticised for its first target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, the Prime Minister claimed the current aim is a ‘ambition.’
Secretary of Health Matt Hancock placed the first goal on April 2 and told the regular briefing of the government last week that on April 30 check results had reached 122,347.
He was subsequently suspected of ‘breaking the laws’ to arrive at this number, as 27,497 of those reported were home assessments and 12,872 were sent out to satellite locations, implying that only 81,978 of the checks were ultimately performed and analysed.
Labor chief Keir Starmer, grilling Mr Johnson today, said test figures around the UK have slipped back after the government appeared to have reached its mark last week.
Mr Johnson said the leader of the opposition was correct to pay attention to last week’s efforts to raise research and that his goal is to reach 200,000 a day by the end of this month ‘and then go much further.’ The PM made his first appearance at the Prime Minister’s Questions after he returned from coronavirus, explaining to MPs: ‘It is nice to be back even though I’ve been away for longer than I had expected.
‘I’d like to pay tribute today to the 107 NHS and 29 care workers and all those who have sadly died from coronavirus. I know the sympathies of the House are with their family and friends.’
Sir Keir told the PM why contract tracking was taking place in the United Kingdom but abandoned by mid-March.
He said: ‘We were told at the time that this was because it was quote “not an appropriate mechanism” but yesterday the deputy chief medical officer said it was to do with testing capacity.
‘So can the Prime Minister just clarify the position for us?’
Mr Johnson replied: ‘As I think is readily apparent Mr Speaker to everybody who studied the situation and I think as the scientists would confirm, the difficulty in mid-March was that the tracing capacity that we had, that had been useful as he rightly says in the containment phase of the epidemic, that capacity was no longer useful or relevant since the transmission from individuals within the UK meant that it exceeded our capacity then.
‘Now the value of the testing, tracking and tracing operation that we’re setting up now is that as we come out of the epidemic and as we get the new cases down, we will have a team that will genuinely be able to track and trace hundreds of thousands of people across the country and thereby to drive down the epidemic.’