UK has second-highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, new figures show

A test sample is held at a COVID-19 testing centre amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, at Glasgow Airport, in Glasgow, Scotland April 29, 2020. Andrew Milligan/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom now has Europe’s second-highest official death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures on Wednesday that cover fatalities in all settings, including in nursing homes.

Some 26,097 people died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus as of April 28 at 1600 GMT, Public Health England (PHE) said. That means the United Kingdom has had more COVID-19 deaths than France and Spain have reported.

“These more complete data will give us a fuller and more up to date picture of deaths in England and will inform the government’s approach as we continue to protect the public,” Yvonne Doyle, medical director at PHE, said.

Although international comparisons are difficult, the new figures confirm Britain’s place among the European countries worst hit hardest by the pandemic.

Italy said on Wednesday that 27,682 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus. Like Britain, its figures are based on deaths following positive coronavirus tests, in all settings.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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