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UK COVID-19 death toll goes past 30,000
London, May 7, 2020
The United Kingdom on Wednesday reported 649 more deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19) in the previous 24 hours, taking the toll in the pandemic so far to 30,076 -- the second highest in the world after the United States, where more than 73,400 people have died.
"As of 5 pm on 5 May, of those who tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 30,076 have died," the Department of Health and Social Care said.
This new figure includes deaths in all settings, not just in hospitals, and includes care homes and the wider community.
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick told the Downing Street daily briefing that 1,448,011 tests have so far been conducted in the country, including 69,463 on May 5.
In all, 1,072,144 people have been tested and 201,101 of them have tested positive, he said.
About the planned easing of the lockdown, Jenrick said "We want to ensure appropriate and safe social distancing, providing the public with the confidence to return to work and to return to public spaces and public transport knowing that it is always safe to do so."
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed during the Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) -- which gives MPs the chance to question the prime minister -- that he will set out details of his plan to start relaxing the lockdown on Sunday.
Johnson said he "wants some lockdown easing measures to come into force from Monday" next week, while pledging to reach 200,000 lab tests a day by the end of May.
Shortly after the PMQs, a Downing Street spokesman said that Johnson's new target applied to the testing capacity.
The prime minister said last Thursday that Britain was "past the peak" of the COVID-19 outbreak and a "comprehensive" plan will be published on "how we can continue to suppress disease" while restarting the economy.
Meanwhile, Government Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has said many of the early COVID-19 cases imported into Britain came from European countries, rather than China.
"Early in March the UK got many, many different imports of virus from many different places, and those places were particularly from European countries with outbreaks," Vallance told the parliament's committee on health and social care on Tuesday.
"So we see a big influx -- probably from Italy and Spain, looking at the genomics of the virus, in early March -- seeded right across the country... a lot of the cases in the UK didn't come from China and didn't come from places you might have expected," he said.