|Evidence is growing that coronavirus became seeded among the vulnerable and elderly in social care after hospitals discharged sick people into the care system without being tested for Covid-19 © Bloomberg
The total number of deaths involving coronavirus in the UK has now passed 50,000, the latest government data shows.
Figures published by the National Records of Scotland on Wednesday showed 3,911 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to 31 May.
On Tuesday, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed 44,401 such deaths had occurred in England and Wales up to 22 May (and had been registered up to 30 May).
The latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, published last week, showed 716 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in Northern Ireland up to 22 May (and had been registered up to 27 May).
Taken together, these figures mean 49,028 deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate have been registered in the UK, including suspected cases.
More than 1,000 deaths can be added to that total when taking into account those that have been reported since the period covered by the latest registration data.
A further 931 hospital patients who had tested positive for coronavirus died in England between 23 May and 1 June, according to the latest figures from NHS England.
Meanwhile, a further 78 people in hospital and care homes who had tested positive for the virus died in Wales during the same period, according to Public Health Wales.
In Northern Ireland, a further 22 people who had tested positive died between 23 May and 2 June, according to the Northern Ireland Department of Health.
Taken together, these add up to a further 1,031 deaths since 23 May.
When added to the total figure of 49,028 deaths, it means the overall death toll in the UK is now 50,059.
It is possible the 50,000 treshhold was actually passed days ago, as more death registrations will be processed and added to the figures for each nation in the UK.
The grim milestone came as Boris Johnson defended his government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
The prime minister told MPs in the Commons on Wednesday: ”I take full responsibility for everything this Government has been doing in tackling coronavirus and I’m very proud of our record.”