Around half the deaths from coronavirus are happening in care homes according to data from five European countries collated in a new study.

That is despite the fact that UK figures, and those in many other countries, only include the number of people who have died in hospital.

Data collected from official sources by a London School of Economics-based team found 42-57% of all deaths linked to the virus were among care home residents.

The countries studied by the International Long Term Care Policy Network (LTCPN) included Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and France.

It comes after industry bosses in the UK said daily death tolls are “airbrushing out” hundreds of older people who have died in the care system.

Care England has estimated there have been nearly 1,000 deaths from coronavirus in care homes, and, separately Baroness Altmann wrote in the Daily Mail that aged care residents who are refused hospital treatment are “being abandoned like lambs to the slaughter”.

The LTCPN report suggested that the clearest snapshot of coronavirus mortality in care homes came from Ireland, as there was a centralised system to collect information relating to Covid-19.

As of Saturday, there had been 6,444 cases of Covid-19 and 288 deaths, of which 156, or 54%, were care home residents.

The most recent figures from Belgium suggest 1,405 care home deaths from coronavirus, 42% of the total, while figures from Spain are based on media reports of regional government figures for the month to April 8 which cite 8,345 deaths in aged care facilities, or 57% of the total.

Source: Wales Online