UK reaches 250,000 coronavirus infections as three millionth test is carried out

Beachgoers bask in the sun on Brighton Beach in Brighton, Britain, 20 May 2020. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

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The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 338 to 36,042 yesterday, the health ministry said.

“As of 9am 21 May, there have been 3,090,566 tests, with 128,340 tests on 20 May,” the ministry said. “2,064,329 people have been tested of which 250,908 tested positive.”

While the health ministry publishes the death toll based on those who definitely had COVID-19, broader figures based on suspected COVID-19 deaths give a much bigger toll.. The broader figures show the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll is more than 43,000, the worst in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Britain has agreed a deal to acquire antibody tests, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, saying the tests would be free and health and care workers would be prioritised.

Mass antibody testing is being considered by many countries as a way to speed the reopening of economies devastated by lockdowns and to introduce more tailored social distancing measures.

An agreement has been reached with Swiss manufacturer Roche, and the NHS will cover the costs involved.

“Have we now agreed a deal on the antibody testing? The answer to that is yes,” the spokesman told reporters, adding that health minister Matt Hancock would offer more details later on Thursday.

Reuters / Sky

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