The Office for National Statistics reported 29,648 deaths recorded in England and Wales as of May 2 with Covid-19 mentioned in the death certificates.
With the addition of deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland, that brings the death toll in the UK to 32,313, according to Reuters calculations.
This figure far exceeds the death toll of 29,029 people in Italy – so far the most affected country in Europe. The total for Italy does not include suspected cases.
Ministers and experts warned against international comparisons, saying that the excess mortality figure – the number of deaths from all causes above the average for the time of year – is a more significant indicator.
The latest ONS figures for the week ending April 24 show that there were 21,997 deaths, 11,539 more than this week’s average. But the total number of weekly deaths dropped slightly by 354. This is the first decrease in the number of weekly deaths since the start of the epidemic and confirms other figures showing that the United Kingdom has passed the peak of infections.