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Coronavirus: UK records highest daily death toll of 980

Number marks largest daily increase in fatalities for hospitalised patients in Europe to date

Zoe Tidman
Friday 10 April 2020 18:25 BST
Hancock gives death toll update and claims enough capacity to test NHS staff

The UK death toll for coronavirus has risen to 8,958 in the largest daily increase for hospitalised patients in Europe to date.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said 980 more patients had died in hospital as of 5pm on Thursday.

Italy – where around 18,800 people who tested positive for the virus have died in total – saw its highest daily death toll peak at 969, while Spain’s worst day for fatalities was when it recorded 950 deaths.

Meanwhile France has reported more than 1,000 daily deaths in the past, but unlike the UK, these figures included both the numbers of hospital patients and people in nursing homes who had died. France has only recently started counting care home deaths in its daily statistics, although some of these may have happened more than a month ago.

The UK government said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 73,758 on Friday, while 256,605 people have been tested for the virus to date.

Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, said the UK was still in a “dangerous phase” in regard to the number of new coronavirus cases.

Quoting data from 16 March to 10 April he said: “You can see the broad trend, that we have been in an increase phase and we are now at a point where we are at a high level and the numbers are varying day by day.

“We are in a dangerous phase still. And I need to reinforce that again to you, that this is not over.”

Dominic Raab, the first secretary of state, said on Thursday it was too early to ease lockdown measures, which have put restrictions on people’s movements in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.

The health secretary warned people on Friday to “stay at home” over the Easter weekend.

Speaking at the daily press conference on Friday, he said: “This is a national effort, and every single person in this country can play their part in this plan.

“This Easter will be another test of the nation’s resolve. It’s a time of year when people normally come together.”

Press Association contributed to this report

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