UK death toll tops 30,000 as government looks to ease lockdown

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The UK’s death toll in the coronavirus pandemic has risen above 30,000.

A further 649 deaths overnight were announced on Wednesday, taking the total to 30,076. The UK has the highest death toll in Europe.

The government’s target of 100,000 tests a day was also missed again with 69,463 tests carried out on Wednesday.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, who led the daily news conference, also said the government has provided £3.2bn to local councils.

Mr Jenrick confirmed the government was looking at ways to ease the lockdown.

He said the aim was to “get people back to work safely”, to reunite families and friends, and “to reintroduce the things that make life worth living”.

The UK has a target of 100,000 tests a day target and has only reached that on a couple of days around the end of April.

Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted the testing target to be a laboratory capacity of 200,000 tests a day by the end of May, moving the target away from tests carried out.

He said he “bitterly” regrets the coronavirus epidemic raging in Britain’s nursing homes.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick at the 10 Downing Street in London. EPA
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick at the 10 Downing Street in London. EPA

“At every stage, as we took the decisions that we did, we were governed by one overriding principle and aim, and that was to save lives and to protect our NHS,” he said in parliament.

He added: “There will be a time to look at what decisions we took and whether we could have taken different decisions.”

The road to normality

The UK lockdown, which began on March 23, imposes strict restrictions on public activity and business.

Areema Nasreen

Amarante Dias

Ate Wilma Banaag

Rahima Bibi Sidhanee

Syed Zishan Haider

Alfa Saadu

Habib Zaidi

Adil el Tayar 

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Despite having the highest number of deaths in Europe the number of new deaths and hospital cases has started to fall.

Mr Johnson is expected to lay out the road to normality on Sunday.

The government says any relaxation will be gradual to prevent a second spike in coronavirus cases.

Updated: May 6, 2020 08:56 PM

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