By Karim El-Bar
LONDON (AA) – The British government said Wednesday that it has changed the way it counts deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official death toll from the pandemic down by over 5,000.
Earlier in the day, the government announced that by Wednesday, 46,706 people had died from the virus across the UK.
The new and revised number now stands at 41,329.
The original figures were comprised of anyone who died at any point after testing positive for COVID-19.
The new numbers cover only those who die within 28 days of being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The UK’s four chief medical officers agreed on the new system being the standard for calculating the numbers of coronavirus deaths in Britain.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 745,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December. The US, Brazil, India and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries in the world.
More than 20 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 12.6 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.