Breaking: UK Coronavirus cases surpass 22,000

Coronavirus deaths have risen to at least 22,123 in the UK after 445 more deaths were announced in England on Wednesday.

The number is expected to jump again this afternoon as the Government confirms the total number of covid-19 related deaths across the UK.

Until now, the daily reported figures have only included the number of people who have died in hospitals.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed last night that the toll will from now on include those who have died in care homes and the community to “bring as much transparency as possible”.

In the week up to April 17, 3,096 people died in care homes from the virus – treble the week before when 1,043 deaths were registered.

It means a third of all coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are now happening in care homes.

The most up to date figures will be revealed in today’s daily coronavirus briefing.

Speaking last night, Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Angela McLean said: “Deaths from Covid-19 are dominated by those deaths in hospital, but that is not the only location in which such deaths are seen.”

The Health Secretary also confirmed last night that testing would be expanded to all care home residents and staff, regardless of whether they have Covid-19 symptoms, and all those aged 65 and over with symptoms and their households.

Among the latest deaths is dad-of-two Mehool Patel, a 48-year-old pharmicist who owned Bliss Chemist in North London.

He was described by friends as “one in a million” who “would do anything for his patients”.

Two brothers, Ghulam Abbass, 59, and Raza Ghulam, 53, also died beside each other in hospital after contracting the bug – just three weeks after their dad passed away.

In Scotland, 1,415 patients have now died from the killer bug – up 83 since yesterday.

In Wales, the total death toll is now 886 after 73 more deaths were announced Wednesday.

Meanwhile, cancer deaths could rocket by 18,000 as scientists warn patients avoid medical services during the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS research shows the crisis is making half of sick Brits think twice before getting checked.

The global pandemic has also caused uncertainty about the education of millions across the UK.

It was confirmed today that some kids could face long delays before they are back in the classroom full time – as schools will return in a “phased way”.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said this morning that no date has been set for when schools are back up and running fully.

And he confirmed that schools, which have been shut since March 18, will not open through the summer to help kids catch up on the classes they have lost in the crisis.

Coronavirus deaths in the UK yesterday reached 21,678 after 586 more people lost their lives.

This is the lowest Tuesday rise in four weeks after the usual weekend lag when 381 were reported dead on March 31.

Britain is now the fifth country to pass 20,000 deaths in hospital from Covid-19 – behind the US, Italy, Spain and France.

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