UK reports 596 COVID-19 deaths as total tops 16,000

Britain reported 596 deaths from COVID-19 in hospitals in its daily update on Sunday, raising the country's total to more than 16,000 as a senior minister said the government's testing target remained 100,000 per day.

Britain has suffered the fifth-highest death toll from the pandemic which has been linked to almost 160,000 deaths worldwide.

Its hospital death toll stood at 16,060 as of 1600 GMT on Saturday, the health ministry, after its smallest daily rise since data published on April 6.

Britain's outright total is higher, as its daily figures do not include deaths outside hospitals at homes and facilities such as nursing homes for the elderly.

Some 2,500 people died in care homes during the week to April 13, according to the National Care Forum, a representative body for the adult social care sector.

Earlier on Sunday, senior minister Michael Gove said he was confident that the government would reach its testing target of 100,000 per day by the end of the month.

Some 21,626 tests were conducted on Saturday, the health ministry said.