Britain today announced five more coronavirus deaths in the preliminary toll — taking the official number of victims to 46,206.

Department of Health chiefs have yet to confirm the final daily figure, which is often much higher because it takes into account lab-confirmed fatalities in all settings. 

The early count — which only includes a fraction of the Covid-19 deaths in England — is calculated by adding up updates declared by each of the home nations.

NHS England today posted five deaths in hospitals across the country. No fatalities were recorded in any setting in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

Just eight deaths were officially recorded yesterday and seven lab-confirmed fatalities were posted last Monday. But figures are always lower than normal on Sundays and Mondays because of a recording lag at weekends.

In other coronavirus developments today: 

  • Britons are already making the most of a 50 per cent discount on meals and soft drinks after a new scheme launched this morning at more than half of the UK’s restaurants, cafes and pubs;
  • Two new game-changing tests that give results in just 90 minutes will be offered to millions of Britons in a major advance in the war on coronavirus;
  • Boris Johnson was told he should prioritise getting young people to follow social-distancing rules before targeting over-50s with another lockdown; 
  • A top scientist has slammed the ‘shroud of secrecy’ around the government’s coronavirus decisions — as civil servants rebel over Boris Johnson’s call for people to return to offices;
  • The Government will start testing sewage to track coronavirus and could ban domestic travel to stop local outbreaks;
  • Beauty spot residents are bracing for a fresh stampede of revellers as a major ‘African heat flare’ is set to roast Britain in a ten-day heatwave with temperatures set to reach as high as 91F (33C).

Department of Health chiefs yesterday announced that another 744 people tested positive for the virus, taking the rolling seven-day average to 753. 

In comparison, the rate was 663 last Sunday and has been on the up for more than a fortnight amid growing fears of a resurgence.

Government statistics show the official size of the UK’s outbreak now stands at 304,695. But the actual size of the outbreak is estimated to be in the millions, based on antibody testing data.

The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.

And the figure does not always match updates provided by the home nations. Department of Health officials work off a different time cut-off, meaning daily updates from Scotland and Northern Ireland are out of sync.

The count announced by NHS England every afternoon, which only takes into account deaths in hospitals, does not match up with the DH figures because they work off a different recording system.

For instance, some deaths announced by NHS England bosses will have already been counted by the Department of Health, which records fatalities ‘as soon as they are available’.

Around 64 people are succumbing to the illness each day, on average. But the fatality curve is no longer flattening as quickly as it was, with the rate having been in the sixties since July 18. 

It can take infected patients several weeks to die, meaning any spike in deaths won’t be immediately apparent in government figures.

Source: | NHS

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