Coronavirus: A&E ‘safe’, says PM, after fears led to ‘16,000’ non-COVID deaths

Boris Johnson is attempting to persuade people it is safe to visit A&E, after it was revealed patients’ reluctance to attend because of coronavirus may have caused 16,000 more deaths.

Announcing handouts of £300m to upgrade A&E facilities in England, the prime minister said the government is making hospitals safer and reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19.

“It’s vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it,” he said.

“And for those who remain concerned about visiting hospitals, let me assure you that the NHS has measures in place to keep people safe.”

The prime minister’s plea comes just days after the government’s own Office of National Statistics (ONS) claimed that for every death from coronavirus itself, a further two occurred because of the lockdown‘s wider impact.

Of the 16,000 non-COVID deaths, the ONS suggested 6,000 were as a result of a big reduction in people attending A&E, possibly because of patients’ reluctance to seek medical attention.

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