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UK tops Europe Covid-19 coronavirus death toll

By Scott Maclennan

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The UK now has the second most reported Covid-19 deaths in the world and the highest in Europe after surpassing Italy’s toll.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab revealed that with 693 deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours the country now had a death toll of 29,427– 112 more than Italy.

At today's Downing Street briefing Mr Raab said “it is now clear that the second phase will be different and we will have to adjust to a new normal.”

However he also questioned the validity of international comparisons of death tolls on the basis that different countries record these differently.

He said: “Later on this week the Prime Minister will update the country on the measures and the decisions that we will need to take to protect the NHS, to safeguard the economy and to avoid the risk of a second peak that damages both the public health but also jobs and the wider economy.

“And as we consider the decisions that we will take next to protect life also to protect our way of life, it is now clear that the second phase will be different and we will need to adjust to a new normal as a society: adapt to new ways to work, to travel, to interact and to go about our daily lives.

"We've never experienced anything like this first stage of Covid-19 in terms of the scale of the lives lost, but also the lockdown that it has required.

“As we go forward we want to make sure that the next phase is more comfortable, is more sustainable and prevents lasting damage to jobs and livelihoods, but we need to be under no illusions, the next stage won't be easy and if we're going to protect life and preserve our way of life as I just said we must continue to be guided by the scientific advice we receive and make sure the next steps that we take are sure-footed and sustainable."

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