Europe

UK records lowest number of hospital deaths since lockdown began

The UK’s coronavirus death rate has fallen to its lowest point since the lockdown began after another 77 people were confirmed dead.

NHS England today recorded 59 more deaths in hospitals – but this does not take into account other settings like care homes.

Across all settings, Scotland announced three more deaths, while Wales had seven and Northern Ireland had eight.

A preliminary daily tally of 77 is calculated by adding up the individual counts announced by each of the home nations.

The latest figures emerged ahead of Dominic Cummings’s public statement amid calls for the Prime Minister’s chief adviser to be sacked over allegations he breached the lockdown.

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The PM’s aide is expected to take questions following the unusual address, as he faces sustained pressure from across the political spectrum to quit his Government role.

Mr Cummings travelled to County Durham in March to self-isolate with his family – apparently because he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son – while official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.

Further reports also suggested he took a second trip to the area in April, having already returned to London following his recovery from Covid-19, a disease which has seen more than 45,000 people in the UK die after contracting it.

Several Conservative backbenchers have joined calls from opposition parties for Mr Cummings to quit or be sacked, amid warnings that his actions have ‘undermined’ efforts to fight coronavirus.

It comes as Durham’s acting police and crime commissioner, Steve White, said there was a ‘plethora’ of additional information which deserved ‘appropriate examination’.

He said he has written to Durham police’s chief constable asking her to ‘establish the facts concerning any potential breach of the law or regulations in this matter’.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is chairing a Cabinet meeting where ministers are expected to discuss the easing of restrictions for certain sectors of the economy, including the reopening of some non-essential shops.

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