THE true coronavirus death toll today surpassed 53,000 – 11,000 more than the official figure.
The Office for National Statistics figures released today revealed that 47,387 people had died from the virus in England and Wales up to June 5.
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And combined with the deaths reported in hospitals since then and the national stats for Scotland and Northern Ireland, there have now been 53,077 deaths across the UK.
This is over 11,000 more than the 41,736 deaths recorded by UK health authorities so far yesterday.
While numbers of those dying from coronavirus daily are falling, there have been tens of thousands of "excess" deaths compared to the average number of deaths over five years for the same period.
According to today's statistics, there have been 58,693 excess deaths in England and Wales since the outbreak.
Including Scotland and Northern Ireland figures, this then increases to 64,500 deaths – potentially indicating the true victim toll is much higher than already reported.
Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, has previously warned that these excess deaths will be the “key measure” in assessing the impact of the bug.
- 47,387 deaths involving coronavirus were registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 5 June 2020
- There were 1,588 deaths involving coronavirus in the week ending June 5 – the lowest number in the last nine weeks
- There were 14,022 coronavirus deaths in care homes
- The number of deaths in care homes was 335 higher than the five-year average
Today's ONS figures show the virus was responsible for 80 per cent of the excess deaths registered in England and Wales between March 21 and June 5 2020.
There were 58,693 excess deaths in total – with coronavirus mentioned on the death certificates of 46,996 fatalities.
The overall number of excess deaths registered per week has fallen from a peak of 11,854 in the week ending April 17 to 732 in the week ending June 5.
But in heartening news, London became the first region since March to have a level of weekly deaths below its five year weekly average.
The North West recorded the highest number of deaths.
Sixty-four per cent of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales occurred in hospitals, while another 14,028 fatalities were in care homes.
Care homes have been particularly hit by the virus with 14,022 fatalities so far recorded in England and Wales.
The numbers come as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week declared Britain is winning the battle against coronavirus.
Mr Hancock said: “We are winning the battle against this horrible disease."
Lockdown has slowly been easing this week with Monday seeing the reopening of non-essential shops with strict social distancing measures.
But immunologist Sir John Bell today warned that Britain avoiding a second wave of Covid would be “highly surprising”.
He said: "Given the fact that the lockdown has now been largely released, we're now back in action, and we have still – pretty rapidly declining – but a pretty reasonable level of infections in the community,
"I would be very surprised if we avoided the second wave.
"I think the real question is, are we going to have a number of single outbursts around the country and then a second wave, or are we going to just get a second wave and when will that be?"
Figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland showed that 4,000 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to June 7.
And the latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, also published last week, showed 779 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in Northern Ireland up to June 5.
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