UK Today

Coronavirus: UK deaths rise by more than 100 in a day

The number of people in the UK who have died with coronavirus has jumped by more than 100 in a day for the first time.

The death toll has risen from 475 to 578, health officials have confirmed.

A total of 104,866 people have been tested, of whom 93,208 tested negative and 11,658 were positive.

Those latest figures come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an aid programme to help the self-employed.

The Department of Health said it was “revising its reporting approach” for coronavirus deaths.

It said figures on deaths would now be recorded for the 24-hour period as of 17:00 the previous day.

Wednesday’s figures – which reported 28 deaths – were not for a full 24-hour period. They covered only the eight hours from 09:00 to 17:00 on Tuesday.

The government had been criticised for failing to provide backing for self-employed and freelance workers in its earlier huge package of economic measures.

Meanwhile, in a further development, data collected via the NHS’s 111 telephone service is to be mixed with other sources to help predict where ventilators, hospital beds and medical staff will be most in need.

The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, a senior hospital figure warned that London hospitals are facing a “tsunami” of coronavirus cases and are beginning to run out of intensive care beds.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said while critical care capacity had been expanded hospitals in the capital had seen an “explosion” in demand.

A third of the UK cases have been diagnosed in the city.

Ministers are being urged to step up testing for coronavirus, especially among health workers.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries was asked on Thursday why the UK did not order testing kits sooner.

She said that “this is not an issue of a lack of foresight in planning, it is an unprecedented event”.

Dr Harries added that “it is a brand new virus, so even to understand how you might test it you need to have the virus and understand a little bit about it before you can start”.

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