'I am now self-isolating' Boris Johnson shares video message after testing positive for coronavirus

Coronavirus: UK death toll rises to 759

Number of confirmed cases increases to 14,579, health officials confirm

Samuel Lovett@samueljlovett
Friday 27 March 2020 15:18

A total of 759 people who tested positive for coronavirus have now died in the UK, according to health officials, marking a 181 rise in deaths from Thursday’s figures.​

The Department of Health and Social Care also announced that 14,579 people have now tested positive for Covid-19, an increase of 2,921 confirmed cases.

Among these latest figures, a further eight people have died in Scotland, bringing the country’s total to 33, the first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday.

She added that the number of confirmed infections had risen from 894 to 1,059.

Public Health Wales said six more people had died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the country’s total to 34, while Northern Irish authorities confirmed three additional deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the region’s number to 13.

This comes as both prime minister Boris Johnson and health minister Matt Hancock announced they had been infected with the virus.

Both politicians said their symptoms were mild and that they would be continuing to work from home while self-isolating.

Mr Johnson is believed to be the first major world leader to test positive for the virus. Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has been designated to take up the reins of power if the prime minister is incapacitated, but Mr Johnson’s spokesman said that had not so far been necessary and he was “getting on with the job”.

With the number of deaths and cases in the UK continuing to rise, more than 750,000 people have come forward to volunteer their help in the fight against Covid-19.

The call to action came from Mr Hancock, who issued a request for members of the public to donate their time to help the 1.5 million vulnerable people who are being forced to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

Downing Street has meanwhile insisted it is doing “all we can” to secure more ventilators for critically ill patients, as the PM continues talks with industry officials on producing more medical equipment for the NHS.

The government has ordered 8,000 additional ventilators to boost the current stock of 8,000 already available to the health service.

Officials said thousands more would be available in the “coming weeks”, with the peak of the virus expected to hit within the next fortnight.

“There is a real cross-government effort going on to get these ventilators online as soon as possible,” an official spokesman for Mr Johnson said on Friday. “The PM spoke with industry again last night. We are doing all we can to make progress.”

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