The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the number of coronavirus deaths in care homes quadrupled in the week ending 10 April.
According to the ONS, 18,516 deaths were registered, up 2,129 on the previous week and 7,996 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths, 6,213 – or 33% – mention COVID-19.
However, the figures suggest the number of coronavirus-related deaths is far higher.
The figures revealed 1,043 people died from the virus in care homes in the week to 10 April, up from 217 the previous week.
Responding to the figures, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said every death was a tragedy.
‘Today’s sad and shocking figures highlight just what a severe challenge we face in care homes and other community settings. Council social care staff and care homes need urgent access to reliable and ongoing supplies of quality PPE, increased rapid and comprehensive testing and greater support with staffing and other equipment, on an equal footing with the NHS,’ he said.
‘Data on all deaths from Covid-19 needs to be published promptly and accurately, so we can have full confidence and transparency in these figures as part of our plan to defeat this deadly virus.’
Carers on the hidden frontline are continuing to work without a guaranteed future supply of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), putting them at risk of dying.