According to data published by the Office of National Statistics(ONS) the UK now has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe.

Figures published by the ONS show that 29,648 deaths linked to coronavirus had taken place in England and Wales as of 24 April.

If you include the deaths in Scotland and Ireland then the figures would exceed 30,000 with figures continuing to rise.

Only the US has reported more deaths linked with coronavirus.

However, Ministers and experts have warned against international comparisons, saying the figure for excess mortality, the number of deaths from all causes that exceed the average for the time of year, is a more meaningful gauge.

Based on deaths registered up to 24 April the ONS report reveals 71.8 per cent (19,643 deaths) occurred in hospital. 5,890 deaths took place in care homes, 1,306 in private homes and 301 in hospices. This represents a fall of 12.6 per cent in hospital deaths, but an increase of 2,500 deaths in care home deaths compared to the week before.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said in a statement: “This appalling loss of life in our care homes and communities is another stark reminder of just how much more must be done to protect our most elderly and vulnerable.

“Every death from this virus is a tragedy, leaving behind family and friends in mourning. Social care is the frontline in the fight against coronavirus and we need to do all we can to shield people in care homes and those receiving care in their own homes.

“Any national plans by government to track and trace coronavirus needs to build upon councils’ existing local knowledge and skills on the ground, given their experience in their communities through local services such as environmental health, public health including sexual health services and infection control nurses.”