The United Kingdom became the first country in Europe on Tuesday to exceed 30 000 deaths related to the new coronavirus and the second most affected in the world, showing the magnitude of the challenge of deconfinement for the government of Boris Johnson.
The weekly figures for the various regional British statistical agencies show a balance sheet of 32 313 death for which COVID – 19 is the confirmed or suspected cause indicated on the certificate of death, a figure now higher than the official balance sheet in Italy.
The current assessment is probably much heavier, because these figures relate to deaths recorded until 24 April for England (28 272), Wales (1376) and Northern Ireland (393), and until 26 April for Scotland (2272).
The authorities assure, however, that the peak of the pandemic has passed and are preparing to announce in the coming days the first measures to restart certain parts of the economy and adapt to a crisis that is set to last. .
However, they have been reluctant for the moment to embark on this path too quickly, brandishing the risk of a new wave which would reduce efforts to nothing and further increase mortality.
The latest assessment from the Ministry of Health, which includes only hospital and retirement home deaths of patients tested positive for COVID – 19, was from 29 427 died Monday, on 194 990 officially confirmed cases.
The United Kingdom was one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in Europe, with the first death announced on March 5. The authorities were accused of having delayed taking the measure of the risks, not anticipating the need for tests and protective equipment and imposing confinement of the population only on 23 March.
Hospitalizations and deaths have now gone down. Himself hospitalized a week because of COVID – 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Thursday that the “peak” of the epidemic had passed.
“In retirement homes, the situation is even more dramatic” than in the country as a whole, however warned Nick Stripe, an analyst with the British National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) on the BBC on Tuesday.
According to him, the number of deaths in these establishments is almost four times higher than the average, and continues to increase despite the general decline. Only last week, more than 2000 elderly people died in retirement homes in England.
More generally, in the past five weeks, the United Kingdom has recorded 42 000 more dead than the average in recent years for the same period, he said.
Fear of a new wave of contamination, the containment should be extended Thursday, the date of its next reassessment, but the government is preparing measures to ease it.
“We have to adjust to a new normal where society is adapting to new, safe ways of working, traveling, interacting and continuing our daily lives,” said the head of diplomacy on Tuesday, Dominic Raab, at a press conference, promising announcements by the end of the week.
According to several media reports, an exit strategy must be announced by Boris Johnson during a speech on Sunday evening.
The pressure is strong given the economic situation: more than 6 million people in technical unemployment and sectors hit hard, as showed on Tuesday the announcement of 3000 deletions jobs by Virgin Atlantic airline or the paralysis of the automobile market in April, the lowest since 1946.
To allow a gradual deconfinement, the government now intends to screen on a large scale and trace the contacts of patients. He began testing a tracking app running Bluetooth technology on the Isle of Wight (south) on Tuesday, with a data centralizing approach despite fears of a privacy breach.