UK coronavirus hospital death toll reaches 15,464

Another 888 people killed by Covid-19 in last 24 hours

Coronavirus: Government announces vaccine taskforce

A total of 15,464 people have now died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK.

The latest Department of Health and Social Care figures show another 888 more people had died as of 5pm on Friday compared to the previous day.

So far, 357,023 people have been tested for Covid-19, including 114,217 people who have tested positive.

The figures do not include the number of infections in care homes, which Number 10 said stood at 2,987 as of Tuesday.

The new figures come as a leaked email revealed that some hospitals treating patients will run out of protective gowns this weekend.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has admitted he cannot guarantee hospitals will have enough PPE to get through the next few days – after the problem was raised by military logistics officers helping to coordinate the cpintry’s response to the pandemic.

In a major shift, doctors and nurses were asked to treat patients without full length waterproof gowns if necessary, and even use plastic aprons as an alternative.

But Sarah Gorton, head of health at the union Unison, said medical staff would be within their rights to refuse to work without the correct PPE.

She said: “Health managers must be truly honest with their staff. If gowns run out, staff in high risk areas may well decide that it’s no longer safe for them to work”.

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