A total of 8,664 people have died of coronavirus in care homes in England and Wales, including 1,558 in ONE week, shock new figures reveal.
In the week up to May 8, there were 1,503 deaths in care homes in England and a further 55 in Wales.
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The latest figures mean 37.8 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales have been in care homes – despite the Health Secretary saying this morning it was only a quarter.
In England there were 8,314 deaths in care homes between April 10 and May 8, according to the Care Quality Commission.
In Wales there were 350 coronavirus care home deaths from March 17 to May 8.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, also revealed there were 34,978 Covid-19 related deaths in total up to May 1 in England and Wales.
That death count is a third higher than was reported by the Department for Health at the time, who had recorded 26,251 deaths.
Yesterday we reported how men working in the lowest skilled jobs have the highest rate of death involving Covid-19, according to the ONS.
Government figures revealed Britain's overlooked army of frontline workers — social care workers, bus and taxi drivers, chefs and supermarket staff — are among the most vulnerable.
Analysis of 2,494 coronavirus fatalities found they are all more than twice as likely to die from the disease than the average working-age Brit.
Interestingly, the mortality rate for healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses was not higher than among others of the same age and sex.
But the ONS did find both men and women working in social care, including care workers and home carers, have "significantly" higher death rates involving Covid-19 than the working population as a whole.
One union boss said the figures, which were released the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should start going back to work if they cannot work from home under conditional plans to ease the lockdown, were "horrifying".
John Phillips, acting GMB general secretary, said: "If you are low-paid and working through the Covid-19 crisis, you are more likely to die – that's how stark these figures are.
"Ministers must pause any return to work until proper guidelines, advice and enforcement are in place to keep people safe."
Dr Michael Head, from Southampton University, said the report has "huge implications" for those people working in roles where social distancing is not possible.
Neil Pearce, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the ONS findings were "striking".
He said the report shows that for working-age Brits, Covid-19 is "largely an occupational disease".
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