UK’s official death toll overtakes Spain, Russian medics criticize gov’t

Madrid Desk, Apr 29 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom on Wednesday overtook Spain to become the second-deadliest Covid-19 hotspot in Europe and third in the world after officials revised data to retroactively include deaths in care home settings, bringing the total number of reported fatalities to 26,092.

Public Health England said the inclusion of Covid-19 deaths outside of hospitals dating back to March added 3,811 deaths to the official UK toll, which only includes people who have died after testing positive for the virus.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab told a press conference that an additional 765 coronavirus deaths were reported in the UK in the last 24 hours.

The revision in the way UK health authorities presents data means the country sits behind Italy and the United States in the grisly world-rankings of official coronavirus fatalities. Rome has reported 27,682 deaths overall while Washington has reported almost 60,000.

Raab said the lockdown measures in place in the UK would not be lifted until ministers were sure there was no risk of a second wave of infections.

Authorities in Italy, which is expected to initiate its first phase of easing the lockdown on 4 May, said a total of 203,591 cases had been detected since the beginning of the outbreak in late February as of Wednesday.

There had been an uptick of 2,086 new cases and 323 deaths in the last 24 hours.

However, the number of active coronavirus cases in Italy continues to descend. There were a total of 104,657 such cases as of Wednesday, 548 fewer than Tuesday.

A total of 71,252 people have recovered from the disease, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

The number of hospital patients was also on the decline, there are currently around 19,000 people receiving treatment for coronavirus, some 1,800 in ICU, a third of those in Lombardy, the worst-hit region.

The German government on Wednesday approved a 1,500 euro ($1,628) bonus for care workers in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.

The move was announced by the ver.di trade union on Wednesday after a deal had been struck with the Federal Association of Employers in the Care Industry (BVAP) over the weekend.

The measure comes just two days after German doctors took part in an online protest against a shortage of personal protective equipment.

Under the slogan Blanke Bedenken “Naked Qualms,” members of the medical community posed almost naked in photos that were then shared on social media.

Germany remains the sixth-most affected country by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of fatalities, after the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain and France.

In Russia, similar promises of financial compensation have so far yet to come to fruition and there were ongoing protests against a lack of PPE, the Doctor’s Alliance medical has said.

“Lamentably, doctors working in non-specialized hospitals do not have sufficient supplies of protective equipment,” union leader Anastasia Vasilyeva told a press conference.

The medical syndicate has called on Putin to sign into decree the pledges he has made in recent weeks on the remuneration for medical staff who treat or come into contact with coronavirus patients.

At the beginning of April, the president proposed a three-month pay rise between 80,000 rubles ($1,000) and 25,000 rubles ($340) for medical staff depending on their profession.

With a population of 145 million people, Russia has reported almost 100,000 Covid-19 cases, situating it 8th in the global rankings in terms of infection numbers behind Iran and China.

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