UK accused of under-reporting senior COVID-19 deaths

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The head of one of Britain’s biggest nursing home operators claimed the number of reported coronavirus deaths among elderly residents is much higher than has been officially reported.

The government says outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported in one in eight U.K. care homes.

David Behan, chairman of home operator HC-One, said cases of the new coronavirus had been reported in 232 of the firm’s homes – two-thirds of the total. He says 311 residents have died with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Ros Altmann, a former government minister who campaigns for older people, said frail elderly people were being overlooked in the pandemic.

“We must not forget that the mark of a civilized society must reflect how it treats its most vulnerable and oldest citizens,” she said.

The U.K.’s official daily tally of COVID-19 deaths, which stands at more than 11,000, includes only people who have died in hospitals. Deaths in other settings are reported separately once a week. Figures are due later Tuesday.

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