Tuesday 12 May 2020 10:06 am

UK coronavirus deaths top 38,000

The UK’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 38,000 in early May, by far the worst recorded in Europe, data showed today.

Including suspected cases, UK coronavirus deaths numbered 34,978 on 1 May in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Read more: UK coronavirus death toll rises by 626 to 31,241 ahead of lockdown easing

With previous data for Scotland and Northern Ireland that took the UK toll to 38,289.

That means the UK is among the world’s worst hit countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Globally coronavirus has now killed 285,000 people. And the number of UK coronavirus fatalities far surpasses that of any other European country.

Italy’s death toll of 30,739 is the next worst. And the UK’s is only better than the US, where 80,684 people have died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Ministers have criticised overall death toll comparisons with other countries. They have said the excess mortality measure – the number of deaths above the average for the time of year – is a better comparison.

Read more: The UK coronavirus death toll reaches 28,446

The UK’s coronavirus deaths includes 6,997 recorded in English care homes and 404 in Welsh care homes, the ONS said.

England itself recorded 33,337 Covid-19 deaths overall.

However, the number of deaths in England and Wales declined for the second week in a row for the week to 1 May, to 17,953.

More to follow.