Coronavirus: UK confirms Sunday death toll

UK confirms 21 more coronavirus deaths in hospitals taking the total number of fatalities to 43,535 as Scotland announces zero victims for THIRD day in a row and expert predicts it will be ‘Covid-free’ by September

  • NHS England confirmed 18 more people died in its hospitals in June
  • Scotland records no extra deaths for three days in a row; eight times this month
  • Top scientist warned this morning that Britain is still in a ‘very precarious’ place
  • Lockdown is expected to ease dramatically next Saturday, July 4 

Another 21 people have died of coronavirus in hospitals in England and in Wales and Northern Ireland, taking the total death toll to 43,535.

NHS England today confirmed another 18 fatalities in its hospitals, while two more people have died in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

A full UK round-up including care home deaths will be published by the Department of Health later today.

Scotland has recorded no new deaths today, marking three days in a row and the eighth time this month.

It comes as one of the Government’s top scientific advisers warned this morning that England is ‘on a knife-edge’ as it eases lockdown, with the virus still a threat.

Scotland’s outlook appears sunnier, however, and one expert said it could be ‘Covid-free’ by the end of summer – but will have to be vigilant about imported cases. 

The NHS in England today confirmed that 18 more people died between June 1 and yesterday, June 27, with eight of those deaths happening on Friday.

The numbers of people dying in English hospitals continue to fall steadily: on Monday June 22, the last day for which data is reliable, 39 people died, compared to 52 a week earlier on the 15th, and 68 on the 8th a week before that.

England’s death toll is falling slower than other countries’ in the UK – around 85 per cent of Britain’s population of 66million people lives there.

A total of 1,544 people have died in English hospitals so far in June, compared to a total of 120 in all settings in Scotland.

Scotland, as a result, looks on course to eliminate the virus in the next couple of months, according to one scientist.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said getting as close as possible to not having the virus at all in Scotland was her priority. 

But the nation will have to cope with the coronavirus continuing to spread in England and Wales and the very real risk of travellers bringing it into the country.  

Professor Devi Sridhar, a public health expert at the University of Edinburgh, said the nation could be Covid-free by the end of summer.

Only eight people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in Scotland yesterday.

Professor Sridhar said: ‘At that point the risk to people’s daily lives becomes negligible. I think Scotland is on track to eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer.’

Professor Sridhar advises the Scottish Government and has backed its decision not to lift lockdown and reopen pubs and shops, as Boris Johnson is doing in England.

She added: ‘I don’t think we’ll ever get to zero cases… but I think the closest we get is to say we keep pushing for zero and you keep dealing with these flare-ups.’

The presence of the virus in England, Wales and Northern Ireland means even if Scotland eliminates Covid-19 from its own population, other people will bring it back unless it closes its borders indefinitely. 

Coronavirus appears to be only just under control in England, with one of the Government’s leading scientific advisers, Sir Jeremy Farrar, admitting the country is in a ‘very precarious’ situation.

A surge in infections in Leicester has led the Government to consider imposing the first local lockdown on the city within days.

Home Secretary Priti Patel this morning admitted it was ‘correct’ that officials were considering putting stricter rules into force in Leicester than elsewhere in England. 

She said on The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We have seen flare-ups across the country in recent weeks, in just the last three or four weeks in particular.

‘There will be support going into Leicester and in fact the Health Secretary was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures, the support on testing, resources that will go into the local authority as well.

‘With local flare-ups it is right we have a localised solution in terms of infection control’.

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