The death toll from Covid-19 in the UK has reached 32,313 based on government data released on Tuesday (5/5).
This number exceeds Italy’s death toll of 29,315 people for the same period.
Britain has now overtaken Italy by becoming the country with the second highest Covid-19 mortality rate in the world after the United States, and the most in Europe.
The new death toll data was released by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) and regional health agencies. The new statistics have not been included in the daily figures from the central government, which currently still records 29,427 deaths from Covid-19.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged the public not to compare government data with existing international statistics.
“There are various ways of calculating the mortality rate. We are now publishing data that includes all deaths in all settings and not all countries are doing this,” Raab said in a press conference at Downing Street as reported by AFP.
He also urged people not to compare statistical data related to the coronavirus with other countries. According to Raab, each country has different mechanisms for counting the number of cases and related deaths.
“Can you ensure that all countries measure this in the same way? And this also depends on how well and transparent countries are in recording their statistical data,” Raab said.
Raab considers the number of Covid-19 deaths in Britain to be an “unprecedented tragedy”.
The UK Office for National Statistics regularly updates data regarding confirmed cases of Covid-19 as well as deaths routinely every day. The agency counts all deaths.
Previously, up to the end of April, the British Ministry of Health only calculated the number of deaths based on patients who died in the hospital and had tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the UK Office for National Statistics also recorded a total of around 42,000 “excess deaths” or unconfirmed Covid-19 cases over the past five weeks.
This reveals that the actual number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK may be much higher.
This weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to update the country’s measures to protect against the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.
The government has asked citizens to adjust to the ‘new normal’ life, following the country’s plan to implement further steps in handling Covid-19. (rds/dea)