UK coronavirus death toll rises by 494 to 33,186

The UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 494 over 24 hours, according to the latest government figures.

A total of 33,186 people infected with the virus had died as of 5pm on Tuesday, the Department of Health said.

The figure is about half the daily toll in mid-April, the peak of the pandemic in the UK, when more than 800 deaths were being recorded in 24-hour periods.

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However, separate analysis of official figures from the Office for National Statistics, NHS England and other nations’ authorities suggests the real death toll in the UK is more than 40,000.

In Scotland, 3,223 people have died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, figures from the National Records of Scotland indicate.

ONS figures show 35,044 deaths in England and Wales up to 1 May; and NHS England statistics show 2,135 hospital patient deaths from 2 May.

Some 229,705 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since the UK’s outbreak began, according to the government figures, published on Wednesday after Boris Johnson slightly eased the country’s lockdown.

There are fears the infection rate will shoot up again after public transport in London became packed solid as workers returned to their jobs.

Officials said 87,063 coronavirus tests were carried out in the past 24 hours on 61,741 people, again missing Matt Hancock’s target of 100,000 tests a day.

Worldwide, 292,619 people have died of the virus, and the UK is second only to the US in total death numbers.

ONS data also suggest there have been close to 51,000 excess deaths compared with the five-year average over the same period.

Covid-19 was responsible for 71.5 per cent of those deaths.

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