The official UK coronavirus death toll today rose past 40,000 after 357 more deaths were recorded.
As of 5pm yesterday, 40,261 people have died from the disease, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
The figures showed that just over 5.2m tests have now been carried out, with 283,311 people testing positive for the virus.
The data includes deaths in hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
However, the true number is likely to be much higher, with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting the death toll has now passed 50,000.
But while the death toll continues to mount, the number of new coronavirus cases is in decline.
An ONS survey released this morning estimated that 0.1 per cent of the British population was estimated to have had Covid-19 at any given time between 17 and 30 May, equating to an average of 53,000 people.
This is less than half the 133,000 figure recorded in the previous two-week period.
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Nevertheless, the latest government estimates showed the infection rate — known as R — had risen to between 0.7 and 1 following the easing of lockdown measures.
A sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths and a sufficiently low R number are both key to the government’s plan for lifting restrictions.