Eye-watering fresh figures released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics reveal that the true extent of the COVID-19 death toll in England and Wales was 41 percent higher than the stats released by the government indicated.
In its latest report on Tuesday morning, the ONS revealed that it recorded 13,121 deaths up to April 10, whereas the official government figures for those who died in hospital only reached 9,288, roughly 41 percent lower.
The discrepancy in the figures is caused by the fact that the UK only includes people who have tested positive for the virus and die in hospital in its daily fatality updates. More than 16 percent of COVID-19 related deaths occurred in care homes or private homes, which once again highlights the ongoing problem in the UK around recording deaths directly stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, was mentioned in at least one-third of all death certificates signed in England and Wales up to April 19. In London, that percentage was more than 50 percent.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks reports of cases and confirms them with local health departments, the UK currently has 125,856 confirmed cases of confirmed coronavirus infection. The country’s death toll stands at 16,550 while just 446 patients have recovered. Among them, is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson’s Conservative Party government has been repeatedly criticized both for its failure to prepare for such a catastrophic public health event and for its response to it, with lacklustre and delayed measures likely increasing the infection rate, placing an additional burden on an already beleaguered, understaffed and underfunded National Health Service.