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More than 30,000 people have now died from Covid-19 in the UK

The UK has the highest death toll in Europe, and the second highest globally behind the US.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons today.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons today.
Image: PA Images

THE DEATH TOLL from Covid-19 in the UK has surpassed 30,000 people.

According to the latest figures, 30,076 people have died from the virus in the UK to date.

The figure, which includes deaths in all settings, is correct as of 4pm yesterday.

It represents the highest death toll from Covid-19 in Europe, and the second highest globally behind the US where more than 71,000 people have died.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned against comparing the UK’s death toll internationally.

Answering his first Prime Minister’s Questions since he recovering from the virus, Johnson said that international comparisons aren’t helpful.

“At this stage I don’t think that … the data is yet there to draw the conclusions that we want.

“We took the decisions that we did to save lives and to protect our NHS,” he added, and said it’s possible they could have taken different decisions.

Johnson also said the UK will have a testing capacity of 200,000 tests a day by the end of May, and that lockdown measures could start being eased from Monday.

Easing lockdown restrictions

Johnson will set out plans for easing the lockdown in a speech on Sunday, with some measures possibly being introduced the following day.

“We have to be sure the data is going to support our ability to do this,” Johnson said.

“That data is coming in continuously over the next few days. We want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday.

“It would be a good thing if the people had an idea of what’s coming the following day, that’s why I think Sunday – the weekend – is the best time to do it.”

Downing Street stressed that “it is not going to be a case of flicking a switch” to lift all measures at once, instead “people will have to prepare for a different type of normal”.

Johnson faced new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons for the first time and was accused of being too slow to respond to the outbreak.

Starmer said problems with personal protective equipment (PPE) supply are “going to get even more acute if and when the government ask people to return to work” as more people will need masks and other protective kit to do their jobs.

Contains reporting from PA

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Órla Ryan

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