Britain today announced 133 more coronavirus deaths, as separate shock data shows the UK's Covid-19 outbreak is killing more people each day than the rest of the EU countries combined.
Department of Health officials have yet to confirm the final daily figure, which can often be much higher because it includes fatalities in all settings. The preliminary tally - which has seen the death toll on the brink of passing 40,000 - is calculated by adding up all of the individual Covid-19 updates given by each of the home nations.
NHS England saw 115 more deaths in hospital patients who tested positive - the youngest a 26-year-old. Scotland posted nine Covid-19 deaths in all settings, followed by eight in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.
Britain's outbreak has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks. Yesterday health bosses announced 359 more victims - down almost 13 per cent on the 412 deaths recorded last Wednesday. But analysis of data shows only 345 deaths were recorded in the 27 EU countries yesterday, including 81 in France, 74 in Sweden and 71 in Italy.
Separate backdated data also showed the real number of deaths in Britain has already tipped the 50,000 mark, cementing the UK's status as being Europe's worst-hit nation.
In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:
Britain's outbreak has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks. Yesterday health bosses announced 359 more victims - down almost 13 per cent on the 412 deaths recorded last Wednesday. But analysis of data shows only 345 deaths were recorded in the 27 EU countries yesterday, including 81 in France, 74 in Sweden and 71 in Italy
UK RECORDED MORE COVID-19 DEATHS YESTERDAY THAN THE REST OF THE EU COMBINED
Britain yesterday recorded more Covid-19 deaths than the rest of the EU combined, according to an analysis of official figures.
Department of Health chiefs announced 359 fatalities on Wednesday, slightly higher than the 345 recorded in the 27 members of the bloc, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Separate figures suggest the true death toll among the 27 nations was even lower - coming in at 331.
Each nation's health agency report their own figures. These numbers do not always match with the Department of Health count because of a difference in how they are recorded.
NHS England today recorded 115 more deaths in hospitals, including five patients who had no known underlying health conditions.
It comes as it was today revealed that police have launched a probe into a care home which was ordered to close after 15 residents died following a major outbreak of coronavirus.
Temple Court in Kettering, Northamptonshire, was forced to shut its doors following the Covid-19-related deaths of patients who were sent there after being discharged from hospital.
The home is now being investigated by Northamptonshire Police and council bosses amid allegations of abuse and neglect.
Officers are speaking to relatives of the 15 residents following claims they were sent there without being tested after being released from two separate hospitals.
In other developments, furious MPs demanded the Commons sits 'virtually' again today after a senior minister 'sniffled, sweated and snorted' through a statement - before self-isolating for coronavirus.
In extraordinary scenes in the chamber last night, Business Secretary Alok Sharma ignored the government's own guidance as he struggled on despite repeatedly wiping his brow and blowing his nose.
The episode sparked concerns that dozens of politicians have been at risk of infection and will now have to go into quarantine - potentially including Cabinet ministers and top officials.
It also heaped pressure on Boris Johnson to reverse the controversial decision to scrap electronic voting and Zoom debates, after 'farcical' scenes this week that saw hundreds of MPs 'conga' through Westminster in a mile-long socially distanced queue to take part in divisions.
Figures today also revealed only a quarter of business that have temporarily closed during the coronavirus crisis plan to reopen their doors within the next month, dampening efforts to kickstart the economy.
Just nine per cent of businesses told the Office for National Statistics (ONS) they would be ready to open within a fortnight, with a further 16 per cent saying they could be ready within four weeks.
Almost half of those polled in May - before the announcement to reopen British businesses - said they did not know when they might open, piling pressure on the Government's economic plans.
Boris Johnson last month gave the go-ahead for non-essential retail to restart on June 15, as he attempted to bring the coronavirus-battered UK High Street back to life.
A poll also revealed children in the north are missing out on an education as Labour-run councils refuse to allow schools to reopen.
A survey of primary headteachers has found just a third of them followed the Prime Minister's plan and managed to bring back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 students back to class on Monday.
This dropped to as low as 12 per cent in the north-east of England and eight per cent in the north-west, where a large number of Labour-run councils refused to let their schools open.
The survey of 10,000-plus schools was carried out by the National Education Union, which found 44 per cent of schools did not open more widely on June 1.
Bill Gates today warned anti-vaxxers could wreck attempts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine if they refuse to take it and reduce the level of herd immunity.
Over 80 per cent of people may need to have the jab for it to work properly - but the philanthropist said he feared anti-vaccine 'craziness' might put people off getting it.
The billionaire founder of Microsoft, who now donates hundreds of millions of dollars to global health causes, said the prospect was 'worrying'.
Vaccines can only be successful at stamping out a virus if so many people get them that a vast majority of the population is immune and the disease can no longer spread.