News | Published April 14 2020

Charities voice concern surrounding coronavirus figures

UK charities have voiced their concern that the official coronavirus death toll only covers those who die in hospital.

Therese Coffey defended the use of these figures, stating that "it's accurate and quick".

At present, the figures used do not include those who die from the virus in their own homes or in care homes.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has received a letter from industry leaders including Age UK, Marie Curie, Care England, Independent Age and the Alzheimer's Society asking for a package to provide support for the social care sector during the pandemic.

Part of the letter contains the request that the government provide a daily update on the death tolls in the care system.

The request follows a confirmation that over 2,000 care homes in England have had coronavirus outbreaks.

Age UK have voiced concerns that the virus is "running wild" in care homes.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director, said that: "The current figures are airbrushing older people out like they don't matter.”

The ONS will release figures that include all deaths linked to the virus in England and Wales today.

Coffey justified the government’s current use of figures excluding deaths from care homes, stating that: "I think that the certification by doctors is happening regularly, that is being collated by the ONS and it is being published weekly by the ONS.

"I think that is a fair system of getting that picture, that unfortunate picture, across the country of where deaths are happening due to coronavirus."

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
April 14 2020

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