/UK coronavirus hospital deaths up by 63 in lowest Thursday rise in lockdown

UK coronavirus hospital deaths up by 63 in lowest Thursday rise in lockdown

The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has increased by 63 – the lowest rise on a Thursday in lockdown.

The toll now stands at 33,016 after England reported 55 new deaths, Wales had six, Scotland recorded two and Northern Ireland had zero.

It is the lowest rise on a Thursday since 43 deaths were confirmed on March 19, five days before the UK went into lockdown.

On recent Thursdays, the toll increased by 69 on June 18, 95 on June 11, 133 on June 4, 213 on May 28 and 240 on May 21.

The most hospital deaths announced on a Thursday was 891 on April 9 when the UK was in the peak of its outbreak.

The Government’s official toll in all settings, including care homes, increased by 149 to 43,230 on Thursday.

The government says it needs to be confident easing restrictions will not lead to a second peak
(Image: Getty Images)

The latest figures were announced as social distancing was ignored by sunbathers at packed beaches and amid calls for Boris Johnson and his ministers to prepare for a second wave of Covid-19 this winter.

NHS England announced 55 new hospital deaths on Thursday, taking its total to 28,490.

A total of 2,482 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by two from 2,480 on Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon said.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s virtual coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said 18,196 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by five from 18,191 the previous day.

This marks the second day in a row when new cases have been in single figures, the first time this has happened since March 11, pre-lockdown.

There are 826 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a drop of 54.

Of these patients, 18 were in intensive care, a fall of five.

Wales’ death toll increased by six to 1,497, while the total number of cases increased by 125 to 15,467.

Northern Ireland’s toll remained at 547 after it announced no new deaths.

Social distancing was a challenge at Brighton’s packed beach
(Image: PA)
A chart showing the rise and fall of coronavirus hospital deaths in England
(Image: Press Association Images)

The latest figures came as new figures show the Government’s flagship coronavirus test and trace system is still failing to reach a quarter of people who test positive.

The latest NHS Test and Trace figures show that 24% of people (5,062) who tested positive for Covid-19 between May 28 to June 17 and who had been transferred to the tracing system were not reached.

This number includes people who the service was unable to reach because there had been no response to text, email and call reminders. It also includes people who were reached but declined to give details of close contacts.

A further 3% of people (681) could not be reached because their communication details had not been provided.

Meanwhile, the rate of spread of the coronavirus infection across the UK – the growth rate – remains at minus 4% per cent to minus 2% per day.

While the reproduction number, referred to as R, remains at 0.7 to 0.9.

The figures are unchanged from when they were published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Friday.

Britain basked in the hottest temperatures of the year on Thursday amid predictions it could inch close to 35C.

Beaches, parks and beauty spots were packed – and many people were ignoring the two-metre social distancing rule, which is being cut to “one metre plus” in England when its lockdown is relaxed on July 4.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales, has expressed concern about the Government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions on a Saturday, calling it a “countdown to carnival”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, he said: “My colleagues are doing their absolute best, there are not enough of us – I’ve said that for a number of years – and the challenges are increasing.

Britain saw its hottest temperatures of the year so far amid the lockdown
(Image: Getty Images)

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“They are going to get even more difficult on July 4 when the lockdown is eased even further and that’s a big concern to me and policing, and it should be for the NHS and wider because to ease the lockdown – which I completely understand, businesses have to survive and the economy must grow and I accept that – but to announce this easing of lockdown on a Saturday has created almost a countdown to carnival.

“I am deeply concerned we are going to see real big problems on that day when people are trying to get into pubs and bars and restaurants, drinking – alcohol causes an awful lot of problems for us to have to try and pick up the pieces.

“This is on top of the frustration that people are feeling.

“It is a perfect storm but not in a good way, I have to say.”

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