Coronavirus: UK is second nation to report more than 40,000 deaths

Doctors in the intensive treatment unit of Frimley Park Hospital in SurreyImage copyright
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The UK has become only the second country to report more than 40,000 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest government figures.

A total of 40,261 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the virus, up 357 from Thursday.

Only the US, with more than 108,000 deaths, has recorded a greater loss of life in the pandemic so far.

But experts have warned full global comparisons may take months.

Italy, previously Europe’s worst-hit country, has recorded 33,600 deaths from those who tested positive for the virus.

Brazil has also seen fatalities rising fast, with more than 34,000 people having died after contracting the virus and daily death tolls of over 1,000 on some days.

This death toll is only one way the UK government counts the coronavirus death toll, focusing on people who have died after a positive Covid-19 test.

Figures published by the UK statistics agencies on Tuesday show an even higher toll. Up to the week ending 22 May, 48,106 people had died in the UK with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate.


The crisis may have contributed to a greater loss of life from other causes too, with 61,895 more deaths recorded than would be expected for this time of year, between the beginning of the outbreak and May 22.

The Office of National Statistics has said this may be due to a delay in care for other conditions, such as dementia, asthma and diabetes. Others may be unidentified coronavirus cases, it said.

The UK’s population of older people has been worst affected by Covid-19, with over-80s being 70 times more likely to die than people under 40.

Concerns have also been raised over the impact on ethnic minority communities, with people with Bangladeshi ethnicity more than twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white Britons, taking age and sex into account.


But the death rate is falling, with the most recent review of death certificates showing the lowest number of coronavirus-related deaths since March.

The first death from Covid-19 in the UK was reported three months ago, on 2 March.

The BBC has been collecting their personal stories – like that of Adam Brown, a 30-year-old with learning disabilities who died on 29 April.

“Despite the wonderful doctors’, nurses’, consultants’ best and desperate efforts, even going over and above to save our son’s life, Adam died alone and afraid, from the coronavirus,” said his mother, Maureen.

“We love and miss him so much, as our whole lives have always revolved around him.”

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