Another 509 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 the lowest daily increase for two weeks – when the DoH recorded 480 deaths on April 6 – but death figures tend to drop on Sunday and Monday due to delays in fatalities being registered over the weekend.
The toll was updated after England recorded another 448 deaths. Scotland reported deaths, while nine were recorded in Wales. Northern Ireland has not yet released its new death toll.
The combined daily increase from the three nations (not including Northern Ireland) comes to 576, which is one higher than the number – 480 – later released by the DoH this afternoon.
The government has said this difference is because each devolved authority often makes amendments to their own data after reporting deaths to the DoH each day.
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.
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The latest figures were released as pressure mounts on the Government to deliver more protective gear to hospitals.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said there was ‘relatively low confidence’ that a shipment of , surgical gowns which had been due to arrive in the UK from Turkey on Sunday would make its way into the country on Monday.
He said trusts are being forced into ‘hand-to-mouth’ workarounds, including washing single-use gowns and restricting stocks to key areas.
The NHS Confederation, which represents organizations across healthcare, has also reacted angrily to Government promises of more PPE, saying delays on the shipment from Turkey ‘makes a difficult situation worse’.
Its chief executive, Niall Dickson, said: ‘It would have been better had the Government not made the announcement in the first place’ and said staff would need to make their own assessment over whether they felt safe with the PPE is currently on offer.
Mr Hopson told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that it was wrong to focus on individual consignments of PPE because ‘bitter experience over the last few weeks’ has shown they cannot be relied upon, with some boxes containing the wrong items and thousands of pieces missing.
‘So rather than being marched up to the top of the hill and being marched back down again, let’s just focus on what we know we can be certain of,’ he said.
‘Let’s not focus on individual consignments, let’s try and get as quickly as possible to a sustainable supply of these gowns.
‘There’s no doubt that at the moment, we have now got trusts that have definitely got shortages of gowns.’
The NHS is thought to use around , gowns a day, meaning the stock from Turkey would last less than three days.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he was hopeful the gowns would still arrive, telling BBC One’s Breakfast program: ‘We are very hopeful that later today that flight will take off and we will get those gowns.
‘We are working very hard to resolve this, there have been challenges at the Turkish end.
‘I don’t want to start making more and more promises but I understand that that flight will take off this afternoon and they will be delivered.’
Another million gowns from China had been procured and the UK would be ‘getting those shortly as well ‘, he said.
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