More Than 8,000 People Died In British Nursing Homes Over Past Two Months

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks past the Bank of England, in London, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A woman wears a protective mask as she walks past the Bank of England, in London, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work... A woman wears a protective mask as she walks past the Bank of England, in London, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) MORE LESS
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LONDON — More than 8,000 people died with the coronavirus in British nursing homes since the first recorded death from March 2 to May 1.

The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics says in the two-month period there were 8,312 recorded deaths in care homes in England and Wales that mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate. The figure doesn’t include deaths in Scotland or Northern Ireland, which would add several hundred to the total.

In all, there were 35,044 deaths involving the coronavirus in England and Wales to May 1.

The figure is higher than the official government toll, which stood Monday at 32,065, because it includes cases in which COVID-19 was suspected but not confirmed by a test.

The number of deaths among people with the virus, both in hospitals and elsewhere, is starting to fall. Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the statistics office, says the total number of weekly deaths is declining but remains well above average for the time of year.

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  1. These warehouses for frail old persons have been death traps in almost every country. Decent care is expensive, so a lot of homes offer a poor level of care with untrained and underpaid staff. That’s usually enough to avoid most unnecessary deaths, but covid required a more rigorous infection protection effort than even decent homes tend to manage.

    Solutions either take a lot more money, or a lot of thinking to create money-saving alternatives. I’m not optimistic about either. In a society that increasingly values humans primarily by their economic output, frail old people are increasingly devalued.

  2. i agree with some of what you are saying, but there are good reasons for placing one’s mother or father in an assisted living or nursing home. The problem is with any large communal living situation, nursing home large or small, assisted living, prison, college dorms, fraternity or sorority house, and I’d add apartment building. And all of these communal living situations have one thing in common, people. This COVID-19 thing would be a breeze if we all lived in our own old school bus in the Alaska wilderness.

  3. I’m surprised that, as a percentage of all deaths due to COVID-19, the number of deaths is this low (around 25%). It’s even worse here in Canada where +80% of all deaths due to the pandemic have been in long-term care facilities! Something will need to be done for sure in terms of staff/client ratios, compensation and so forth.

  4. This story needs seem qualifying context: for it to be more useful

    • How many people are n these facilities

    • What is the normal fatality rate over the same period

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