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UK Now Has Europe's Highest Virus Death Toll

US is the only country to report more deaths
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 5, 2020 4:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – Britain now has Europe's highest official coronavirus death toll after the latest round of daily figures Tuesday showed it overtaking Italy. Only the United States has recorded more virus-related deaths. The British government said another 693 people died in hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings after testing positive for COVID-19, taking the total to 29,427—above Italy's 29,315. The tallies are likely underestimates because they do not include suspected coronavirus deaths. Taking into account countries’ populations, the U.K.’s per capita death rate is below those in Italy, Spain, and Belgium. And the US is below them all even though it has the highest number of registered COVID-19 deaths with more than 70,000, the AP reports.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the number of deaths was a “massive tragedy,” but added that it was too soon to make reliable international comparisons, partly because of apparent differences in the way countries report deaths. "I don’t think we’ll get a real verdict on how well countries have done until the pandemic is over and particularly until we’ve got comprehensive international data on all-cause mortality," he said. A lockdown has been in place since March 23, but government advisers have voiced worries about the number of new cases still being recorded. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has recovered from COVID-19 himself, has warned of a second spike in the epidemic and that the UK is at the moment of “maximum risk.”

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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