NO coronavirus deaths in Dorset care homes have been recorded in a week.

And latest figures reveal there were just two deaths from the virus registered in hospitals in the county in the week to June 13.

Office for National Statistics data shows that in Dorset, 157 deaths involving Covid-19 have been provisionally registered.

Of those, 85 occurred outside hospital – including 76 in care homes and two at private homes. A further seven deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.

The figures, based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, include deaths that occurred up to June 5 but were registered up to eight days later.

This is the same as the previous week, meaning no further deaths occurred in the area's care homes, or anywhere else outside hospital, in the latest weekly period.

Care home residents had accounted for 48 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in Dorset up to June 13.

Across England and Wales, 47,749 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to June 13. Of those, 14,178 (30 per cent) were in care homes and nearly two-thirds in hospital.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced renewed questions over his efforts to protect vulnerable care home residents from the coronavirus following a report from the National Audit Office, Whitehall's spending watchdog.

The report confirmed 25,000 patients were discharged from hospitals into care homes nationally between March 17 and April 15, before routine testing for Covid-19 was implemented.

It also said the only central stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) was prepared for a flu pandemic, and did not contain items such as gowns and visors. This was despite an independent advisory committee recommending they be included last year.

The Labour Party said the NAO report showed the care sector had been a “afterthought” during the outbreak.

Meg Hillier, Labour MP and chairman of the House of Commons public accounts committee, said: “Residents and staff were an afterthought yet again: out of sight and out of mind, with devastating consequences.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said it has been “working tirelessly” to reduce transmission and save lives in care homes.

Further figures from the ONS reveal coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales have fallen to their lowest number since lockdown was first implemented.

A total of 1,588 deaths registered in the week ending June 5 mentioned Covid-19, down from 1,822 in the previous seven-day period

It is the lowest number since 539 coronavirus-related deaths were registered in the week ending March 27, four days after lockdown was introduced.