COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales 35% higher than early stats showed

COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales 35% higher than early stats showed

LONDON (Reuters) – The death toll involving COVID-19 in England and Wales was 35% higher than the daily figures for deaths in hospitals released by the government as of April 17, according to official data that include deaths in the community.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 21,284 people overall had died as of April 17 with mentions of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on their death certificates.

That was some 35% higher than the 13,917 people who died in hospitals, as published by the government on April 18.

That takes the United Kingdom’s total death toll beyond those reported by France and Spain as of April 17, according to Reuters calculations, though lower than Italy’s total toll.

A trebling of deaths in care homes in England and Wales within the space of a few weeks contributed to a far higher toll.

The ONS said that overall 7,316 people had died in care homes overall during the 16th week of 2020, almost treble the number reported in the 13th week.