UK coronavirus deaths pass 30,000 in grim milestone

Britain has today become the first country in Europe to record 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus after it announced 649 more victims.

The official death toll now stands at 30,076 dead, with the UK hitting the milestone before either Spain or Italy, which were widely considered to have the worst outbreaks in Europe. Only the US has more deaths, with 72,000.

The latest figures from the Department of Health show that a total of 30,076 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Tuesday, up by 649 from 29,427 the day before.

But the number of deaths involving Covid-19 that have been registered across the UK currently stands at 32,898.

This includes 29,710 deaths that had been registered in England and Wales up to May 2.

The latest provisional figures from NHS England show that 450 hospital patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 died between May 3 and May 5 – which, together with the total figure for registered deaths, suggests the overall death toll for the UK has now passed 33,000.

The number of daily coronavirus tests has fallen below 100,000 for the fourth day in a row since reaching Health Secretary Matt Hancock's target by the end of April – with 69,463 conducted in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: "100,000 completed tests a day was pledged.

"Instead testing has gone down for the fourth day in a row.

"Testing should be going up not be on this downward trajectory.

"Ministers need to explain why they are failing to deliver the testing promised."