Coronavirus death toll tops 26,000 as figure now includes care home and wider community deaths

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has risen to 26,097 - a significant increase from the previous day as the figures now account for deaths in care homes and the wider community, as well as hospitals.

The newly-released data combines the number of deaths in hospitals, care homes and the community for the first time since coronavirus records started.

Previously, the official death toll released each day only took hospital deaths into account - this number stood at 21,678 on Tuesday.

The jump in the total of deaths recorded is an increase of 4,419 deaths on Tuesday, however, the majority of these are deaths in the community which have occurred in the last few weeks but due to changes in reporting have begun to be included in the daily figures from Wednesday.

Thousands of people have not died with coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Wednesday's total, although significantly inflated, includes 765 new hospital deaths since Tuesday which up until today had been the daily deaths released by the Department of Health.

On Tuesday, a further 586 hospital deaths were recorded.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon observes a minute of silence to remember carers and NHS workers who have died. Credit: PA

In Scotland, a total of 1,415 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 83 from 1,332 on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

The figures are lower than the 2,272 deaths given earlier by the National Records of Scotland as they do not include suspected and probable coronavirus infections.

The First Minister said 11,034 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 313 from 10,721 the day before.

There are 114 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, a decrease of 12 on Tuesday, she added.

There are 1,727 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, down from 1,754 yesterday.

New hospitals have been set up around the UK to help fight coronavirus. Credit: PA

A further 73 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of deaths there to 886, Public Health Wales has said.

The daily figure takes into account 31 previous deaths from the Hywel Dda health board area which were not previously recorded.

A further 117 people had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total in Wales number of confirmed cases to 9,629.

In further nine people have died in Northern Ireland from coronavirus, bringing the total there to 338 deaths in hospitals.

Labour leader says death numbers 'dreadful figure'

The significant jump in deaths comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said more than 27,000 people are likely to have died so far from coronavirus - a "truly dreadful" figure.

He pressed Dominic Raab, standing in for Boris Johnson at PMQs, on care home deaths and lack of PPE.

According to his own calculations, the Labour leader said the UK's total death toll was likely to be more than 27,000 - a figure he described as "truly dreadful".

But Mr Raab hit back, saying it was "far too early to make international comparisons", pointing to big differences in the way deaths are recorded in different countries.

Sir Keir noted how there were thousands more deaths which have occurred outside of hospitals, in settings such as care homes.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know