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Wednesday, April 29, latest;

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that a new system being used to produce headline coronavirus death figures for the UK showed an increase of 3,811 on the previous figure. That is because the Government previously only announced figures for people who had died in hospital having tested positive for coronavirus – now, the figures include people who have died in any setting having tested positive for coronavirus.

“From today, we are moving to an improved daily reporting system for deaths so that deaths in all settings are included wherever the individual has tested positive for Covid-19, rather than just those in hospitals,” said Raab.

“Those figures show that up to yesterday on the new measure we have recorded an additional 3,811 deaths in total and I think it is just important to say that those additional deaths were spread over the period for March 2 to April 28 – so they don’t represent a sudden surge in the number of deaths.”

Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, admitted that the virus was less likely to spread outdoors, however, he played down the prospect of social distancing measures being relaxed for outdoor activities like park runs or going to the beach. He admitted there were complexities, such as a congregation of individuals at different points and that the idea requires thought.

“We have to be extremely sure-footed and extremely painstaking about this. This virus will absolutely come back.

“This is with us for quite some time, potentially for as long as until we get a vaccine, so from that perspective we have to be really careful and really sure-footed and I’m not going to suggest for a moment that any of this should be rushed,” Van-Tam said.

 

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