Coronavirus: UK deaths reach 584 after rise of 119

Written by on 27/03/2020

The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK has increased by 119 to 584 in 24 hours.

At the end of Wednesday, the UK count had stood at 465.

The number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK now stands at 11,658.

The number who have tested negative stands at 93,208.

The timescale for reporting figures changed as of today, meaning the latest deaths were recorded between 5pm on 24 March and 5pm on 25 March.

NHS England said on Thursday that a further 107 people had died in England, taking the total to 521.

It said Wednesday’s low rise of 28 deaths was because they only covered 9am to 5pm – not 24 hours.

Cases in England rose 1,809 to 11,338.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced three deaths in Scotland earlier, with the number of positive COVID-19 tests in the country having also increased from 719 to 894 – a rise of 175 in a day.

Public Health Wales said another six people had died and a further 113 people had been diagnosed with the disease, bringing the total number of confirmed cases there to 741.

Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency said another three people had died after testing positive with the illness there, adding that the total number of confirmed cases had reached 241 – a rise of 32.

Those rises bring the regional totals to:

  • England – 521 deaths
  • Scotland – 25 deaths
  • Wales – 28 deaths
  • Northern Ireland – 10 deaths

Of the 107 deaths in England announced on Thursday, 40 were recorded in the West Midlands – with Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust accounting for 18 of that total.

More people have now died with COVID-19 at that trust than at any other in England outside London.

In total, 90 people who tested positive for coronavirus have now died in the West Midlands, the highest total outside the capital, where 177 people have now died with the virus.

While NHS England announced these deaths at 5pm on Thursday, many of the patients had died earlier this week or last week.

All the patients were aged between 32 and 102 and all but two of them (who were 71 and 86) had underlying health conditions.

Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the coronavirus outbreak at Public Health Wales, said: “Novel Coronavirus is now circulating in every part of Wales.”

The Scottish government, which has brought an extra 1.5 million face masks to protect health and social care staff, hopes to have powers to enforce social distancing in place by the end of today.

Speaking at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said people who break the rules could be subject to prohibition notices and liable for on-the-spot fines and prosecution.

“The police will continue to take a soft approach to enforcement”, but they will have the power to act, she said.

Ms Sturgeon added that safeguards would be in place which would be reviewed every 21 days, and the new legislation would last a maximum of six months.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, said between 40,000 to 50,000 people in the country may be infected with coronavirus.

“It has been very encouraging see the empty streets and shops and transport around Scotland. This is going to be a long haul and I encourage people as the weekend comes… to not relax those roles, to not be tempted to see other families from other households,” she said.

It comes as south of the border, North Yorkshire police announced the force will be using checkpoints in the region to ask drivers if their journey is essential in a bid to prevent people from going outdoors.

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker said: “The new and significant restrictions announced by the prime minister on Monday evening spell out very clearly what each and every one of us must do to save lives. The message is clear and the warning stark. Stay at home, save lives.

“These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents.

“You may never be in such a position again where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.”

The force also said the checkpoints would be random and unannounced.

There is also a UK-wide push on increasing the number of ventilators that can be manufactured in time for the expected surge in coronavirus patients across the UK in around three weeks.

COVID-19 has overwhelmed well-resourced hospitals in northern Italy, alarming doctors in Britain.

The NHS has more than 8,000 ventilators, but the government says 30,000 will be needed.

The PM’s spokesman said thousands of new ventilators will arrive in the coming weeks, with thousands more in the coming months, and the NHS will determine where they go based on “operational need”.

He added all manufacturers turning their efforts to making ventilators must pass tests from expert clinicians and health regulators before purchases are made.

Billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Dyson said the government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from his company.

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Ministers are being urged to step-up testing for coronavirus, especially among health workers, so they can get back to work as soon as possible if they have already had the virus.

But Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, has dismissed suggestions a coronavirus antibody test will be ready to buy online next week.

He said the accuracy of the tests needed to be properly tested before they were made available.

In a gesture of thanks to honour frontline NHS staff, everyone across the nation has been invited to join in a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies tonight at 8pm.

(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: UK deaths reach 584 after rise of 119


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