Coronavirus UK: The Office for National Statistics reports that almost 40,000 have died from Covid-19

THE number of people that have died with coronavirus in England and Wales was almost 40,000 to May 8, official figures show.

However, weekly deaths in England and Wales in the week ending May 8 were 12,657, which is a decrease for the third week running, but 3,081 more than the five-year average for the 19th week of the year.

Of those, 3,930 had Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate, making up 31.1 per cent of all deaths – a decrease of 2,105 deaths compared with the week before. The government, led by Boris Johnson, is considering relaxing even further the lockdown measures introduced a few months ago, part of the decision is based on the fact that coronavirus rates are slowly dropping in the UK.

The report from the ONS also showed that the number of deaths in care homes from all causes for the week up to May 8 decreased from 6,409 to 4,248. However, deaths involving Covid-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes continued to rise to 39.2 per cent compared with 37.8 per cent the week before.

With better testing and more protective equipment in care homes, the government hopes these figures will drop even more.

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How close are we to a Covid-19 vaccine?

The first hints that a vaccine can train people’s immune systems to fight coronavirus have been reported by a company in the US. Moderna said neutralising antibodies were found in the first eight people who took part in their safety trials. It also said the immune response was similar to that in people infected with the actual virus.


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Tony Winterburn

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