WORLD More than 5,000 wiped off UK virus toll following review


More than 5,000 wiped off UK virus toll following review


08:17, August 13, 2020

Britain revised down its death toll from the coronavirus pandemic by more than 5,000 to 41,329 on Wednesday following a review into the way fatalities are recorded.


Medical staff wearing full PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask, long apron, and gloves as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, treat a patient with COVID-19, on an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, southwest England on May 22, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

In England, a person who died at any point following a positive test would previously have been counted in the toll, regardless of the  cause of death.

But only those dying within 28 days of a positive test will now be included in the figures, bringing England into line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The official number of people who have died from the virus in Britain has fallen from 46,706 to 41,329 under the new system, a 12 percent fall.

"The way we count deaths in people with Covid-19 in England was originally chosen to avoid underestimating deaths caused by the virus in the early stages of the pandemic," said John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England.

The new figure means that Britain now has fewer deaths than India, but is still one of the worst affected countries in the world, and the worst in Europe.

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