For the first time, the Department of Health announced a daily updated total of deaths in nursing homes, where it is feared that more people would die from Covid-19 than in hospitals.
Public Health England has now reported an additional 3,811 deaths in England since the start of the epidemic.
Dominic Raab, speaking at the Downing Street Coronavirus briefing, said: “It is important to say that these deaths were spread over the period from March 1 to April 28 so that they do not represent a sudden increase the number of deaths. “
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Yesterday, the latest daily figure is 765 deaths in hospitals and nursing homes.
Previously, data was released weekly and a week after the date the government was accused of neglecting nursing homes while focusing on protecting the NHS.
Downing Street has faced increasing criticism of the number of deaths in nursing and nursing homes and there are fears that the epidemic will still not reach its peak in these facilities.
Number 10 said the new data release procedure would come from three sources.
First, it would include previously available data – from the NHS England – which is based on reports directly from NHS trusts regarding deaths in hospital.
It will also include data from the NHS central files on officially registered deaths and figures from Public Health England surveillance teams in each region.
The intention is to combine figures covering deaths in hospitals, nursing homes, people who died at home and the community at large.
There was an 11-day lag for Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on the number of people who died in care homes and at home after contracting a coronavirus.
Helen Whately, Minister of Care, said the new reporting method would help the government “better understand” the impact of the epidemic in nursing homes.
She said, “I am determined that people living in nursing homes continue to receive the best care possible in these difficult times.
“Unfortunately, this pandemic has already claimed the lives of many people, and my heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones before their time.
“Today’s data cannot bring it back, but it can help us better understand the impact of this epidemic on people living in nursing homes so that we can continue to do everything in our power. power to protect them. “
When asked by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, deputy for Boris Johnson, whose fiancée Carrie Symonds gave birth to a baby boy, said that the spread of Covid-19 in retirement homes was a “challenge that we must meet. “
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer asked why deaths in nursing homes were still increasing, when the UK feared Europe had the highest coronavirus death rate.
In response, Mr. Raab said, “There are doubts and I would not hesitate to say in front of the Right Honorable Gentleman (Sir Keir) that this is a challenge.
“But it is a challenge that we must and can meet to ensure that we can bring the numbers down in care homes as we have seen in hospitals and as we have seen in the country in its together. “
He said there would be no “sugar coating” on these matters.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that 108 NHS and social workers had died from the coronavirus.
He said to members of the House: “The whole House will also join me in paying tribute to the 85 NHS workers and 23 social workers who unfortunately died from coronavirus.
“My deepest sympathies go out to their family and friends in an incredibly difficult time, and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to support them. “
Earlier, Environment Secretary George Eustice stressed that care homes are not overlooked as the focus is on preventing NHS saturation.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “No, I don’t accept that it was overlooked, but obviously the focus was on our NHS because there were concerns that it could be exceeded and we wanted to make sure they had absolutely everything they needed.
“But in the case of nursing homes, we have always recognized that there is more vulnerability there. “
Despite thousands of deaths in nursing homes, the government has just made the tests available to all residents and staff after expanding the plan after weeks of criticism.
Those with or without symptoms may request a test.
Britain has reached the peak of its epidemic, health officials say, and the daily number of deaths in hospitals is declining, but there are fears that deaths in nursing homes and retirement homes will continue to increase.
Mike Padgham, President of the Independent Care Group, said: “Unfortunately, when it comes to nursing homes, I fear that we are not yet at the top in terms of deaths from Covid-19 and we We are now the front line in the fight against the virus.
“Health care providers and social workers are working hard and doing an incredible job, trying to keep our residents as safe as possible.
“The government has promised to run tests in all nursing homes to help in the battle.
“It is a pity that we have not had this so far and we are still waiting to see how it works in practice. But we are where we are and I hope that once the appropriate tests are in place, we will see an impact. “
Robert Kilgour, who founded and runs Renaissance Care, which has 15 nursing homes in Scotland, said thousands of other residents would die without urgent funding.
According to him, private nursing homes have been pushed into the “faint hope room” by the pandemic, and residents and staff “are going through an absolutely scorching period”.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, statistician at the University of Cambridge, said he believed more deaths from coronavirus occur in nursing homes and homes than in hospitals