Shocking data from care homes shows 400 deaths a day from COVID-19
Coronavirus has been warned as a major risk for the elderly and medical vulnerable, with the government advising those groups to self isolate for 12 weeks.
Health officials say the number of deaths in care homes in five days around the Easter weekend is likely to be twice that shown by weekly figures published earlier this week.
New figures show that there were around 2,000 deaths in care homes over the Easter weekend.
This is compared to 975 deaths in the week prior.
Previous records held that 140 deaths a day over Easter, compared to the new up to date 400 deaths a day.
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Up-to-date information from Scotland care homes will arrive on Wednesday.
The National Records of Scotland statistics showed that the number of COVID-19 deaths jumped 60 percent last week to 297.
Hospitals however have seen deaths fall by 12.4 percent to 311.
This trend suggests that care home deaths may overtake hospitals this week.
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The latest daily figures for the UK show 763 deaths a day in hospitals linked to coronavirus.
The sharp rise in care home deaths has led to fears it will be a new hotspot for coronavirus outbreaks.
The Department of Health said on Wednesday that it also feared a “significant rise” in deaths not related to COVID-19 among residents.
Care England, the country’s largest representative body for care homes, said last weekend the number of care home residents who have died of suspected coronavirus may have reached 7,500.
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Jeremy Richardson, the chief executive of Four Seasons Health Care, said 240 residents had died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 across the firm’s 187 homes.
Suspected cases of the virus have been recorded in 60 per cent of Four Seasons residences, and 1,400 staff are in isolation.
Mr Richardson said: “I know that our figures are very comparable with some of the other big providers, because I speak to them.”
“When (official figures catch up with reported care home experience) do finally catch up, we’re going to see what I think is going to be stark.
“It will be dramatic.”
The shock data comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock claims the UK is at the peak of the outbreak.
Mr Hancock explained the next phase of testing, where contact-tracing would now play a key role as the UK overcomes the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, with a new NHS app “in development”.
“As we reach – have reached the peak – and as we bring the number of new cases down, so we will introduce contact tracing at large scale,”
The UK has seen 133,495 confirmed cases, and 18,100 deaths as Thursday morning.
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