Picture:AFP/ISABEL INFANTES
Picture:AFP/ISABEL INFANTES

London — Many more people are dying from coronavirus infections in hospitals around the UK than the government is able to indicate in its closely watched daily updates, new figures show.

A total of 1,649 people died from Covid-19 in England in the period to March 27, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. The department of health and social care had reported 926 deaths from the disease in the same period.

The discrepancy occurs because of delays in reporting. The figures are likely an underestimate of the true scale because they do not include deaths outside hospitals, such as in hospices, care homes and private residences.

Declared deaths have climbed sharply, reaching a total of 6,159 on Tuesday, an indication that the coronavirus outbreak has accelerated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among those infected, and remains in intensive care in a London hospital. Nevertheless, the UK’s chief scientific officer, Patrick Vallance, said on Tuesday that a decline in the number of cases recorded could indicate that the outbreak is approaching its peak.

Separately, an updated forecast from Imperial College London showed the outbreak is growing rapidly in 26 countries, and that the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the US could see more than 5,000 deaths over the next week.

Bloomberg