UK announces 11 more coronavirus deaths in preliminary statistics taking the total number of victims to 45,433NHS England announced a further 10 deaths of patients in its hospitalsPublic Health Wales confirmed one more death, with 0 in Scotland and N. IrelandDepartment of Health announced English care homes will be allowed visitors 

Another 11 people have died of the coronavirus in Britain, according to early statistics for today, taking the total to 45,433.

NHS England said another 10 people have died in its hospitals, while Public Health Wales recorded one death and neither Scotland or Northern Ireland had any.

Government statistics show that the number of people dying with Covid-19 is continuing to tumble, with the daily average now 65 over the past week. 

New cases are declining less forcefully – the seven-day average has been rising this week and stands are 635, with 445 cases diagnosed yesterday. The increasing average could be a result of more targeted testing rather than more infections.

As Britain’s Covid-19 outbreak continues to fade away, the Department of Health today announced that care homes in England will be allowed to reopen for visits for the first time.

Homes now have the green light to work with local authorities and set up visiting systems that allow residents to have one ‘constant visitor’ each who will be able to pop in regularly provided they book in advance and wear face coverings.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘I know how painful it has been for those in care homes not being able to receive visits from their loved ones throughout this period.’

Today’s data comes as:  

Care homes in England are now allowed to reopen to visitors for their residents, as long as they keep social distancing and PPE rules in place’ A Royal Mail delivery office in Swindon has closed and sent 1,000 staff home after a worker tested positive for coronavirus;An outbreak in Spain is increasing so much that officials may be forced to rethink the rules allowing Brits to holiday there without quarantining on return; Public health experts say hand-shakes could be a thing of the past because of long-term social distancing rules;Swiss health officials say the face shields worn by hairdressers and salon staff do not prevent Covid-19 and are no replacement for masks.

Data from Office for National Statistics yesterday showed that nearly three times as many people are now dying from the flu and pneumonia than coronavirus in England and Wales.

Covid-19 fatalities have dropped to the lowest levels since well before lockdown, with 283 people succumbing to the life-threatening infection in the week ending July 10.

By contrast, 418 coronavirus deaths were recorded in England and Wales in the seven-day spell before that, and more than 8,000 were registered during the worst week of the crisis in April. 

Yesterday’s was the lowest figure since the week ending March 13, 10 days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the draconian measures to curb the spread of the virus.

For comparison, 917 influenza and pneumonia deaths were registered in the same week. The number of Covid-19 deaths registered — which is always slightly higher than how many occurred — in the same time-frame was 366. 

Most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also show the number of fatalities has fallen in all regions of England and Wales as the virus continues to peter out in the UK.

And deaths of any cause are now the lowest they have been all year, with promising statistics showing the number of fatalities has been below average for the past four weeks in a row. 

ONS experts explained that Covid-19 likely sped up the deaths of people who would have died of other causes, meaning the year’s fatalities have been front-loaded. As a result, fewer people are now dying of causes such as heart disease and dementia because they have already succumbed to the coronavirus.

Separate data last week showed infection levels in the UK have stabilised and scientists suggest the death rate may fall because of warmer weather. There are growing concerns, however, that the virus could return and cause more death and disease in the winter when people are more susceptible.  

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