It has been revealed that the UK recorded 563 coronavirus deaths and 4,325 confirmed cases on Wednesday according to figures from the Department of Health, the worst day so far for coronavirus deaths.
The figures published by Britain’s government show a rise almost a third of coronavirus with 29,474 Britons currently testing positive for COVID-19 as the UK becomes the fifth hardest-hit nation in Europe.
381 deaths and 3,009 cases were also declared across the home nations, with Wales recording 29 new deaths caused along with a further 16 coronavirus fatalities in Scotland.
In an announcement to the Scottish Parliament, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the country's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 76 after it the country recorded 317 more cases taking the number of infections in Scotland to 2,310.
Despite the number of confirmed cases and deaths breaking records across the UK, the Office for National Statistic (ONS) fear that the true size of the outbreak remains unknown following the UK's controversial policy of only testing hospitalised patients.
The UK’s reluctance to only test hospital patients and not tens of thousands of citizens with mild symptoms has led the ONS to believe that the true death toll of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK could be 24 per cent higher than NHS figures show.
The ONS revealed that the total of 210 deaths in England and Wales that occurred up to and including March 20 (and which were registered up to March 25) had COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate, compared to 170 coronavirus-related deaths reported by NHS England and Public Health Wales up to and including March 20.
Commenting on the numbers, The Evening Standard newspaper reported that Public Health Wales expected the true number of cases was likely to be higher with Dr Robin Howe stating publicly that: “Today’s increase reflects a combination of a true increase in numbers, along with additional cases reported from the previous reporting period”.
Concerns around the true extent of coronavirus come after King’s College Hospital in London recorded three times as many deaths compared to the official figures published by Britain’s Department of Health.
Confusion regarding the true figures of COVID-19 follows criticism made on Tuesday by a former World Health Organisation director; who warned that the UK was not testing enough citizens after it was revealed that 44 specialist laboratories were left empty after the government refused to implement mass testing in the country.