Posted on 06/05/2020

#Society #United Kingdom

The UK has now reached the highest death rate for coronavirus in Europe

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has now confirmed that more than 32,000 people in the UK have died with Coronavirus, which is higher than Italy's current count of 29,079 - previously Europe's worst hit country.

The worst numbers in Europe

The worst numbers in Europe

© lightfieldstudios / 123RF

Matt Hancock said 190,584 people have now tested positive for coronavirus, and is getting the country ready for a new test, track and trace programme in order to 'hunt down and isolate the virus so it is unable to reproduce'.

This programme is launched today as a trial in the Isle of Wight, using 18,000 human contact tracers and a new app.

But these numbers are most likely a lot higher, given that half of the UK's deaths have taken place in care homes and are not counted in the official toll. In the end, the actual death toll could be a lot closer to 50,000.

An EU monitoring project has now also revealed England has had the worst excess death rate in Europe, which is the number of people who have died, in comparison to what would usually be expected for the time of year.

All of this does not give a reassuring feeling for an easing of the lockdown measures in the UK and, actually, there is a good chance that the lockdown will be extended. A government review is planned on Thursday but, according to Nicola Sturgeon, the lockdown is "very likely" to be extended.

According to the Scottish First Minister, the situation is too delicate for the curbs to be significantly eased, but she said she would also bring her own proposals. More information should come soon, as Boris Johnson will explain his exit strategy to the nation on Sunday.

One can easily guess where he's going though, as he posted a video saying that 'the worst thing we could do now is ease up too soon and allow a second peak of coronavirus' and that 'we will only be able to move onto the second phase of this conflict if our five tests have been met'. So let's hope this exit strategy is well planned, and that the UK stays into lockdown as long as necessary to avoid an even highest death rate.

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