Government figures show that there are more than 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and that more than 41,000 people have died.
However, these numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of coronavirus deaths is likely to be higher.
The most recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which calculates death certificates referring to the virus, indicates that deaths reached more than 50,000 by May 29.
When considering the number of deaths in addition to the expected number by this time of the year, the death toll rises to more than 63,700 by the same date.
Some of these deaths may include people with undiagnosed coronaviruses or those who died as an indirect result of the epidemic.
Coronavirus accounted for around 18% of all deaths in the United Kingdom in the week to May 29, according to death registration data – down from 21% in the previous week.
In the week until April 17, when deaths from the virus peaked, this figure was just under 40%.
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Find out how the epidemic affected your area and how it is compared to the national average:
The downward trend in daily mortality continues
The new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths began to increase significantly by the second half of March.
The UK has the highest official death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world. However, the government and many experts say it is too early to make international comparisons.
On Thursday, the government announced 151 more deaths, down from yesterday’s total of 245, but much higher than Monday’s figure of 55 – the lowest level since the close of the closure on March 23.
However, the weekend death toll is generally lower due to late reporting and the overall trend remains down.
Most of the deaths in the UK were in England, with 36,750 so far – about 90% of all deaths in the UK.
In Scotland, the official death toll is 2439, but data regarding death registration from National Register in Scotland (NRS) indicates it has reached nearly 4,000 by June 7.
The death toll in Wales is 1,425 while there were 538 deaths in Northern Ireland.
No new deaths were recorded for the fourth consecutive day in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.
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This week’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the total number of deaths in the UK for the week to May 29 has decreased again, and is now approaching the normal time of year.
Research by the UK’s Public Health Organization (PHE) found that people from ethnic minorities have a greater risk of dying disproportionately from coronaviruses than people of white British race. But it’s still not clear why – the study has not looked into professions or obesity, also known as high risk factors.
Most of the deaths recorded with coronavirus were among the elderly, with NHS England figures showing that more than half of the deaths were among people over 80 years old.
What is the R number in the UK?
The “R” number is the average number of people who will be transferred to the disease by the affected person.
If R is less than one, the number of people with this disease will decrease; If it is higher than one, the number will grow.
The Emergencies Advisory Group, known as Sage, believes that the number R across the UK is currently between 0.7 and 0.9.
Scotland’s estimate is between 0.6 and 0.8. In Northern Ireland the ratio ranges from 0.5 to 0.9, while it ranges from 0.7 to 1.0 in England and Wales.
However, new Research PHE and the University of Cambridge’s Biostatistics Unit indicate that the number R has increased throughout England in recent weeks.
The model found it very likely R would remain less than 1 in most regions, but he said that it is at 1 in the southwest and just above 1 in the northwest.
Dr. Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health in England, said the increase is “expected as we graduate from the closure”.
Sage’s estimate of the British figure is based on several different models, including those produced by PHE and Cambridge. Each uses different methods and assumptions and gives a different set of regional values for R.
The government said the number R was one of the most important factors in deciding when closings could be eased.
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New cases continue to decline
The number of newly confirmed cases has decreased every day since the peak in April, despite the increased number of tests being done, and the seven-day rolling average shows a clear downtrend.
A further 1,266 cases were announced on Thursday.
However, the Office for National Statistics estimates that there can be approximately 6,000 cases per day in England alone – not including cases in hospitals or care homes – where people show no symptoms or have mild symptoms and are not tested for the virus.
Speaking at the government conference on Wednesday, Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Valence said the new cases were “on the verge of decline” but “not yet low”.
“The epidemic is shrinking, but not swiftly,” he said, noting that this means going out “with great caution” of closure.
Cases were originally concentrated in London, the Midlands, and the northwest, but Wales and parts of Scotland and northeastern England also experienced high rates of cases.
Health Minister Matt Hancock raised the possibility that there will be “local closings” in the future to control the spread of the virus.
The new testing and tracking system begins
Over 31,000 people were identified as close contacts with coronaviruses during the first week of England’s testing and tracking system.
Of these, 85% were reached by the test and tracking teams and were asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
However, those contacts collected 31,000 from only two-thirds of the 8,000 people who were diagnosed with coronavirus.
No contacts were identified from the other 2710 people whose tests were positive, either because their contact details were incorrect or they decided not to provide information about those who spent time with them.
Hospitals with fewer coronavirus patients
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 gradually decreased since the peak over Easter.
The government said on Thursday that the number of people in the hospital with coronavirus had decreased to 5,911 – down from 7,309 at the same time last week.
However, the picture is different across UK countries and regions, with numbers dropping faster in some areas than in other regions.
The test is now available to more people
The British government said the UK had exceeded its goal of increasing test capacity to 200,000 per day by the end of May.
However, the British Statistical Office criticized how the data was presented, saying that the target appears to show “as many tests as possible, even at the cost of comprehension.”
Health Minister Matt Hancock says he is looking at ways to “improve” the information.
The government announced that 197007 tests had been processed or published within the 24 hours until 09:00 on Thursday. This number does not represent the number of people tested, which was always a smaller number when this data was available.
At least two million people have been tested for coronavirus – but the government has been unable to provide an updated number of people for some time.
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