Monday, Aug 10, 2020
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England had worst excess death rate in Europe between March and June

BBC, 31 Jul 2020
New figures show that England suffered the highest rate of excess deaths in Europe between the end of February and the middle of June.

The Office for National Statistics compared the number of deaths with the five-year average. The death rate in England was 7.5% higher than in recent years. Spain and Scotland had the second and third highest excess death rates.

Many scientists believe a late decision to enter lockdown was one factor that led to more deaths in England. Higher rates of obesity which puts coronavirus patients at greater risk of serious illness is seen as another significant factor by many experts.

The UK has now said that people who test positive for Covid-19 or show symptoms of the virus must self-isolate at home for ten days, rather than seven. The change brings the UK into line with many other countries which already require the longer period of isolation.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting from science editor David Shukman.

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