Figures show hundreds of COVID-19 deaths in UK care homes

LONDON (AP) — Leading British charities said the new coronavirus is causing “devastation” in the country’s nursing homes, as official statistics showed yesterday that hundreds more people with COVID-19 have died than are recorded in the United Kingdom (UK) government’s daily tally.

The Office for National Statistics said 5,979 deaths that occurred in England up to April 3 involved COVID-19, 15 per cent more than the 5,186 deaths announced by the National Health Service for the same period.

As of yesterday the government had reported more than 12,000 deaths in the UK of people with the new coronavirus.

That total, updated daily, only includes people who died in hospitals. The higher figure, published weekly by the statistics office, includes deaths in all settings including nursing homes, and cases where coronavirus was suspected but not tested for.

Caroline Abrahams, director of the charity Age UK, said the government’s daily figures “are airbrushing older people out like they don’t matter”.

Age UK and other charities have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling social care “the neglected frontline” in the pandemic.