The UK now has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe, according to the latest government figures.
There have been 29,427 deaths recorded across the UK – a figure Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said was “a massive tragedy”.
The latest total for Italy, previously the highest in Europe, now stands at 29,315.
But experts say it could be months before full global comparisons can be made.
Both Italy and the UK record the deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus, BBC head of statistics Robert Cuffe said, but Britain has reached this figure “faster” in its epidemic than Italy.
He said there are caveats in making such a comparison, including the UK population being about 10% larger than Italy’s, while Britain’s largest city is three times bigger than Italy’s.
Each country also has different testing regimes with Italy conducting more tests than the UK to date.
In the last 24 hours, the UK government has recorded another 693 deaths.