Coronavirus death toll is nearly 10,000 higher than previously reported, new figures show

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England’s coronavirus death toll is nearly 10,000 higher than previously reported by the government, new statistics show.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday show that by 15 May, there had been 40,096 deaths involving COVID-19.

This compares to the government’s official England death toll of 30,753 for that day. This is a difference of 9,343.

It is because the government’s daily figures have a different criteria to that of the ONS.

The Department of Health only counts deaths where the person had tested positive for COVID-19, whereas the ONS counts deaths where the virus, including suspected cases, was mentioned on the death certificate.

However, Tuesday’s new figures also show the number of deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales had reached its lowest weekly level for six weeks.

There were 3,810 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in the week ending 15 May.

The percentage of deaths involving COVID-19, as well as the total number of excess deaths compared with the five-year average, also continued to decrease.

Read more: Customers ‘should not try clothes on’ when shops reopen

However, during the week up to 15 May, deaths in care homes accounted for more than half of the total number of deaths with COVID-19 for the first time.

On 9 May there were 214 deaths in care homes – 51% of the total, while 191 (46%) happened in hospitals.

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