Britain’s Death Toll More Than 18,000 From Virus

April 22, 2020 Updated: April 22, 2020

LONDON—The British government says 759 more people with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, have died in U.K. hospitals, taking the total to 18,100.

The daily increase was lower than the 823 reported in the previous 24-hour period.

The U.K.’s death toll is the fourth-highest in Europe, behind Italy, Spain, and France, all of whom have reported more than 20,000 deaths.

However, there has been increasing scrutiny of the U.K. figures in recent days for understating the actual number of people having died of COVID-19. The numbers don’t include those who have died in care homes or elsewhere in the community.

Earlier, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country was at the “peak” but that it was too early to start considering a relaxation of the lockdown measures that have been in place since March 23.

Exponential Increase in Tests Needed

Acting British Prime Minister Dominic Raab says the government is still targeting 100,000 tests a day for the CCP virus by the end of April—even though they are currently running more than 80,000 short with just eight days to go.

In the prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons—which allowed a maximum of 50 lawmakers in the legislature—Raab conceded the need to exponentially increase tests in the coming days.

The most recent daily figures show that only 18,206 tests were conducted, even though the government has ramped up capacity to a potential 40,000.

Raab is filling in for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he recovers from COVID-19.

Keir Starmer, the new leader of Britain’s main opposition Labor Party, criticized the government for being slow in putting Britain into lockdown and getting the necessary personal protective equipment for front-line staff.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.