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6 May 2020updated 29 Jul 2021 11:04am

Government’s own death tally confirms UK has overtaken Italy

By Michael Goodier

The government’s daily tally of Covid-19 deaths confirms the UK has overtaken Italy to become the worst-hit nation in Europe, with 29,501 dead.

Yesterday, registrations on death certificates suggested the UK had passed Italy, but this a slower method of counting that is different to the government’s daily figures.

The UK has now overtaken Italy using the daily metric, which looks only at deaths where people have tested positive for the disease and is therefore more comparable to Italy’s figures.

Worldwide, at least 257,239 people have died. But that grim figure still undercounts the true human cost of the virus, which is better measured by comparing the number of deaths to the usual figure at this time of year. This gives you a number of “excess deaths”.

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