News World Britain passes milestone of 20,000 coronavirus hospital deaths

Britain passes milestone of 20,000 coronavirus hospital deaths

Britain passed the grim milestone of over 20,000 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, as the daily toll rose 813 to 20,319 people who tested positive for the illness and died in hospital.

Back in mid-March the government’s chief scientific adviser said that keeping the death toll below 20,000 would be a “good outcome”.

The government is facing growing criticism over its response to the new coronavirus pandemic as the death toll rises. Britain was slower to impose a lockdown than European peers and is struggling to raise its testing capacity.

The country has the fifth highest official coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France. Scientists have said that the death rate will only start to decline quickly in another couple of weeks.

The total number of deaths is likely to be thousands higher with the addition of more comprehensive but lagging figures that include deaths in nursing homes. As of April 10, the hospital toll was short of the overall toll by around 40%.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still recovering after falling seriously ill with COVID-19 earlier this month and in his absence, government ministers have been struggling to explain high death rates, limited testing and shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and carers.

Health ministry data published on Saturday showed that 28,760 tests were carried out on 24 April. That is likely to put further pressure on the government given its target of hitting 100,000 tests per day by the end of April is just days away.

There are concerns that limited testing could mean a slow exit from lockdown and a worse hit for Britain’s economy, the world’s fifth largest.

Earlier on Saturday, Stephen Powis, the medical director of the National Health Service (NHS) in England, declined to give a new number for how many deaths could now be expected, but told BBC Radio:

“It will take some time, it may take many years, before the full effect of the pandemic is known in this country.”

Striking a positive note, Powis added the NHS had not been overwhelmed in the way that hospitals in some other countries have been. Healthcare providers were now preparing to ramp up non-coronavirus treatments, such as restarting planned surgeries.

“As we are now beginning to see a decline, a decrease, in the number of patients with coronavirus, it is absolutely the time to start building up our services again,” he said.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Cyprus President congratulates US President and Vice President for assuming their duties

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades congratulated on Wednesday US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for the assumption of their duties. “We stand ready...

Presentations of reservists postponed due to COVID-19

Taking into consideration the epidemiological situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Ministry announced that the postponement of all presentations of the reservists...

Parliament to report government to INTOSAI

The House Watchdog Committee will report the government to the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) because of reactions to the checking of...

Shooting federation examines cases of athletes’ sexual abuse

Speaking to philenews, President of the Shooting Federation of Cyprus Tziovanis Savvides said the federation has information about four cases of sexual abuse, in...

Health Minister on Indications that spreading of virus has been contained

In a written statement after his meeting with the Advisory Epidemiological Committee on COVID-19, Health Minister Konstantinos Ioannou said that there are indications that...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...