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The UK reported more COVID-19 deaths yesterday than the whole of the EU combined

Yahoo! News UK logo Yahoo! News UK 04/06/2020 Will Taylor
Boris Johnson standing in front of a sign: Screen grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). Screen grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). © Yahoo News UK

The UK recorded more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday than every member state of the EU combined.

The Department of Health added another 359 fatalities to the nation’s death toll while all 27 European Union countries recorded a total of 332.

France accounted for 107, Oxford University data shows, with Sweden adding 65 and Italy 55.

It shows extent of the outbreak in the UK compared to Europe as countries across the continent ease their lockdown.

The four nations of the UK are relaxing restrictions at different speeds but in England it is possible to meet six people outdoors, including in gardens, with non essential shops to open in mid-June.

a screenshot of a social media post: Oxford University data shows the EU countries' tolls for 3 June. (Our World in Data/Oxford University) © Provided by Yahoo! News UK Oxford University data shows the EU countries' tolls for 3 June. (Our World in Data/Oxford University)

EU countries are easing up but nations like Spain, another badly-hit country, reported no newly-recorded COVID deaths in a 24 hour period on 1 June.

However, the Financial Times reported there had been a discrepancy between what its regions recorded versus its health ministry’s statistics.

The UK’s 359 extra deaths, among its lowest daily tolls, is still higher than Germany’s worst recorded day, which was 333 fatalities in early April.

Deaths in the UK are trending downward but as they remain so much higher than European countries there are concerns about restrictions being eased up too quickly, while Boris Johnson warned of a global second wave of coronavirus on Wednesday.

The prime minister said it was a “very important thought that there could be a second wave across the world, as though the pandemic has its own kinetic force in itself”.

a person holding a sign:  An alert signal indicating a safety distance between people is seen placed at the promenade of Misericordia beach during a partial lockdown in the country. Spain is going through a plan of down-scaling towards a "new normality" by relaxing measures that resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak. During phase 2 beaches were reopened to the public and people are allowed to sunbathe or bathe at the beach to 2 metres of distance. Also shopping malls can reopen and clients can eat and drink inside bars or restaurants without restrictions while they use face masks and keeping a safety distance. (Photo by Jesus Merida / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) © Provided by Yahoo! News UK An alert signal indicating a safety distance between people is seen placed at the promenade of Misericordia beach during a partial lockdown in the country. Spain is going through a plan of down-scaling towards a "new normality" by relaxing measures that resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak. During phase 2 beaches were reopened to the public and people are allowed to sunbathe or bathe at the beach to 2 metres of distance. Also shopping malls can reopen and clients can eat and drink inside bars or restaurants without restrictions while they use face masks and keeping a safety distance. (Photo by Jesus Merida / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

“It’s possible there could be a second pulse of this disease.”

He also insisted he was “very proud” of his government’s response to the pandemic, despite the UK passing the 50,000 death mark and continuing to hold the worst toll of all European countries. Only the US has a worse official toll.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned some countries had seen a rise in new cases as restrictions were eased.

He said: “It’s fantastic news numbers are coming down across Europe and have come down to low levels in Spain. It’s also the case, if you look in other countries, they are beginning to see outbreaks as measures are relaxed.”

The BBC reported that chief medical officers stopped Johnson’s plan to reduce the epidemic alert level to three from four.

The alert level can serve as an indicator of how the coronavirus is transmitting and whether restrictions should be eased.

Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, said the UK remains in a “very dangerous moment” on Sunday, and has urged the public to ensure they stick to the social distancing rules.

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