Another 640 people have died in UK hospitals after contracting coronavirus , taking the death toll to at least , , the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed.
Today’s jump in deaths is significantly lower than yesterday’s increase of and the rise of
The toll was updated after England recorded another 576 deaths. Scotland reported 149 deaths, while were recorded in Wales and in Northern Ireland.
The combined daily increase from the four nations comes to 640, which is 149 lower than the number – – later released by the DoH this afternoon.
There is also a difference in the DoH’s death toll – 23, 823 – and the combined figure from England (
, 823, Scotland (1,
The government has said this difference is because each devolved authority often makes amendments to their own data after reporting deaths to the Department of Health (DoH) each day.
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It is important to note that all of these deaths occurred in hospitals across the UK. They do not take into account the people dying at home, in care facilities, hospices, or other locations outside of hospitals.
The latest figures were released after Nicola Sturgeon warned the UK is likely to face several lockdowns until a vaccine against coronavirus is found.
The Scottish First Minister hinted at the UK’s coronavirus exit strategy as she revealed her own government’s plan to return back to normal.
The blueprint states: ‘If, after easing any restrictions, the evidence tells us we are unable to contain the transmission of the virus then we will have to re-impose them, possibly returning to lockdown with little notice .
‘While we will do our best to avoid this, it is possible that such a cycle may happen more than once until we reach a point when we have in place an effective vaccine.’
The document was unveiled at Ms Sturgeon’s daily media briefing. The paper has been published to set out the possible next steps for dealing with the virus.
It comes after the SNP leader vowed to be open and transparent about the coronavirus exit strategy, in what could be seen as a thinly veiled dig at Downing Street ministers who have refused to discuss the matter.
The four home nations have broadly taken the same approach to the crisis, but Sturgeon has said she is prepared to lift and reimpose lockdown at different stages to the UK if necessary.
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘I want to be clear with you at the outset. What we’re publishing at this stage today is by necessity a first cut.
‘I’m seeking today to start a grown-up conversation with you, the public. The decisions that lie ahead of all of us are really complex. We will, as we have done all along, seek to inform those decisions with the best scientific advice possible. But the science will never be exact so we are also required to make very careful judgements. ’
The report said any easing of coronavirus restrictions will not mean returning to how things were before the pandemic struck.
It said lifting current rules will be ‘conducted in a phased and careful manner’ and stressed people will need to ’find a way to live with this virus’.
The report makes clear ‘living with the virus will mean continued uncertainty and changes to how we live our lives’.
It is also warns that restrictions on gathering in groups, which have shut down pubs and led to public events across the country being cancelled, will need to continue ‘for some time to come’.
Good hand and cough hygiene ‘must become fundamental habits’, it states, adding’ each one of us will have to adapt to this as the new normal, at least until we are sure that we can be more protected by a vaccine or treatment ‘.
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