The number of lives lost to coronavirus in the UK has neared 50,000, according to data released this morning.
Devastating figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that by May 22, 43,837 people had died in England and Wales after contracting the killer virus.
By that date, Scotland’s death toll stood at 2,245, while Northern Ireland’s was 504.
And since then the Department of Health and Social Care has announced 2,652 deaths across the UK – bringing the total confirmed deaths to 49,240.
Yesterday the Department of Health announced its own official death toll stands at 39,045.
The new data comes as Labour leader Keir Starmer calls on the Government to “stop the excuses” and publish a review into the impact of Covid-19 on people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
The Public Health England review was launched last month aimed at analysing how factors such as ethnicity can impact people’s health outcomes from Covid-19 and was due to be published by the end of May.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than white people.
The review is being put “on hold until Wednesday because it was not ready for publishing”, according to Sky News.
Starmer tweeted: “BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We need the findings of this review published and action taken now.”
China’s Wuhan finds no new COVID-19 cases in city-wide testing
The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak first emerged, found no new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 300 asymptomatic cases in city-wide testing that began in mid-May, officials said on Tuesday.
The city launched its ambitious campaign on May 14, testing 9.9 million people, after a cluster of new cases in the city raised fears of a second wave of infections.
But authorities found no new cases of the disease in the May 14 to June 1 testing, officials told reporters in a briefing, adding that the asymptomatic cases were found to be not infectious.
China does not count asymptomatic cases, meaning people who are infected with the virus but do not exhibit symptoms of the disease, as confirmed cases.
The coronavirus is believed to have jumped from an animal to people in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan late last year.
The central Chinese city, capital of Hubei province, was placed under a lockdown on Jan. 23. It was lifted on April 8. It was the hardest hit of any Chinese city and accounts for the majority of the 4,634 deaths and total of 83,022 infections reported in mainland China.
The cost of the city-wide testing effort was about 900 million yuan ($126 million).