Responding to news that the coronavirus-related deaths were 41% higher in England and Wales than the Government's hospital-only figures in the week to 10 April, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:
"Today's figures will cause real alarm. The gap between reported deaths to date and the true figures demonstrates it's impossible to understand the horrific toll of COVID-19 without a full set of data.
"The Government must find ways to allow deaths in the community to be reported much faster, so that we have a grasp of the impact of coronavirus in real time. That is the only way to plan an effective, targeted response to this crisis.
"The first and most urgent step in closing the gap in numbers is to ensure protective equipment gets to care staff on the front line and testing is ramped up and accessible to all care workers - the Government has dropped the ball on both.
"People are putting their lives on the line every day in the fight against COVID-19. The Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to back our support package for front line health and care workers to ensure they are given the protection and recognition they deserve as they battle this pandemic day after day."