Tuesday 30 June 2020 10:41 am

UK coronavirus death toll nears 55,000

The United Kingdom’s coronavirus death toll has hit 54,872, according to a tally of official data that shows the UK is one of the world’s worst hit geographies.

England and Wales have now recorded 49,371 coronavirus deaths from the start of the pandemic to 19 June, Office for National Statistics data has showed.

England saw 47,127 of those deaths, a much higher number than the Department of Health’s official tally of 38,208 over the same timeframe.

Unlike the government’s count, the ONS data includes suspected cases. Adding together each UK country’s death toll, Reuters has found the number of coronavirus fatalities is now close to 55,000.

However, the overall number of deaths in England and Wales was 637 lower in the week ending 19 June compared to the previous week, at 9,339.

And the number of UK deaths that week actually came in under the five-year average. The UK registered 10,681 deaths, eight fewer than the five-year average. Of those, 849 deaths were related to Covid-19.

The stats came as the ONS revealed that UK GDP suffered an even worse than expected hit in the first quarter of 2020. The economy’s output shrank 2.2 per cent between January and March as the virus took hold.

England’s lockdown, which began on 23 March, is set to produce an even worse second quarter for the economy. Record falls in retail sales and GDP have already been posted for April at the height of lockdown.