More than half of London hospitals have not recorded a Covid-19 death in 48 hours, according to an analysis of official figures.
Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke, of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, say London’s death rate is declining more quickly than the rest of the country.
In total, 11 of the capital’s main hospital trusts – including Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and University College London Hospitals — reported no deaths of patients with Covid-19 over the weekend, according to the analysis.
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The analysis shows there have been no deaths reported by North Middlesex Hospital since 20 May. Whittington Hospital has reported no deaths since 19 May, while Hillingdon Hospital has recorded none since 13 May.
More widely, 70 hospital trusts in England recorded no coronavirus-related deaths over the weekend.
Meanwhile, a total of 13 hospital trusts – 9.9 per cent of the country’s total number – also reported no Covid-19 deaths in the last the past week, the analysis revealed.
However, the researchers did caution that reporting over the weekends tend to be lower than weekdays due to a backlog in records with smaller numbers of staff.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 275,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, with a total of 38,489 deaths linked to the novel virus.
Thousands of children began returning to school on Monday after more than two months of lockdown as the government gradually eases the restrictions.
Business secretary Alok Sharma said he understands parents’ concerns over sending their children back to class, but added that the government had not undertaken a “dash” to re-start the economy.
Mr Sharma told BBC Breakfast: “This is not a dash. These are very cautious steps that we are taking. They are phased.”
He said that he “completely” understands that “every parent wants to keep their child safe”, but insisted the government had taken steps to ensure schools are safe to return to as classes re-opened to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in England.
Downing Street said it expected the majority of primary schools in England to open to more children this week, with the prime minister’s official spokesman insisting: “We have only taken this step because we believe it is safe to do so.”
He also denied the lockdown was being eased too quickly, saying that the scientific “consensus” was that it is “unlikely” that the changes will push the coronavirus transmission rate R past the crucial value of one.