The chief medical officer has said that 92 care homes across the UK have recorded coronavirus outbreaks in just 24 hours.
Industry bosses have warned that the daily death toll is being “airbrushed out” as many hundreds have sadly died.
Speaking at the Downing Street daily press briefing on Monday, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said around 13.5% of care homes in the UK have registered a coronavirus outbreak.
He said, “In the last 24 hours there have been 92 care homes where an outbreak has been detected.
“If an outbreak is suspected, public health authorities will go in to do testing to assess if an outbreak has taken place.”
When asked if deaths are being recorded properly in such settings, Professor Whitty said, “Everybody who sadly dies, the doctor will make an assessment based on her or his view about what the cause of death is, that’s what the death certificate says in all cases.”
He added. “Doctors take it very seriously and try to make sure that they get as much information to give accurate data.
“One of the things we want to do is to extend the amount of testing of people in care homes as the ability to test ramps up over the next few weeks.
“Because clearly care homes are one of the areas where there are large numbers of vulnerable people and that is an area of risk and therefore, we would very much like to have much more extensive testing.”
Liz Kendall, Labour’s shadow minister for social care, said: “Ministers must publish daily figures of deaths in care homes so we know the true scale of the problem and how fast it is spreading.
“They must also ensure social care has the resources it needs and that vital personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing get to care workers on the front-line.”