The British death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic is now the third highest in the world, next only to the United States and Italy. The most recent surge added 4,419 deaths to the toll, bringing the total to 26,097 as of yesterday, 29 April. The large increase is attributed to the government’s inclusion of fatalities that happened outside hospitals, including care homes, for the first time.
Prior to the recent announcement, The United Kingdom had previously only reported COVID-19 deaths occurring in hospitals. Concern has been mounting throughout the country that the deaths may be underreported across the community.
In light of the new figures, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the government was redoubling its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, especially in care homes. Raab said the government carried out 52,000 tests on Tuesday, 28 April, and has promised to reach 100,000 tests today, 30 April.
While Raab said there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” for frontline workers, he maintained that it is not yet time to talk about easing quarantine measures. “We must not gamble away the progress we’ve made,” he said.