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UK COVID-19 deaths hit 39,369 as another 324 patients die
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UK COVID-19 deaths hit 39,369 as another 324 patients die

Another 324 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Monday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 39,369, the Department of Health and Social Care said Tuesday.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

As of Tuesday morning, 277,985 people in Britain have tested positive for the disease, said the department.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of deaths registered in England and Wales with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 reached 44,401 by May 22.

When more recent offical figures from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the National Health Service (NHS) are taken into account, the total death toll in Britain has reached 50,032, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Chairing Tuesday's Downing Street daily briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government is determined to find out why some groups are more at risk from coronavirus, with Kemi Badenoch, parliamentary under secretary of state (minister for equalities) in the Department for International Trade, to be in charge of the review into the issue.

Earlier in the day, the government published the Public Health England report into why Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people and other demographic groups are more at risk from coronavirus.

"This is a particularly timely publication, because right across the world, people are angry about racial injustice. And I get that. Black lives matter. And I want to say this to everyone who works in the NHS and in social care: I value the contribution that you make, everybody equally," said Hancock.

Asked about why the report is lacking firm policy recommendations, he said "there is much more work to do to understand what's driving these disparities and how the different risk factors interact."

"We are absolutely determined to get to the bottom of this and find ways of closing that gap," he noted.

"For anybody in a higher risk group, the most important thing to do is stringently follow the social distancing guidelines," said the secretary.

XinhuaShen Yi

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