Coronavirus: UK deaths rise by 40 to 144 and total confirmed cases jumps to 3,269

19 March 2020, 18:09

The total number of UK coronavirus deaths has risen from 104 to 144
The total number of UK coronavirus deaths has risen from 104 to 144. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The total number of UK deaths has risen by 40 to 144 and the new tally of confirmed cases has jumped to 3,269, the Department of Health has announced.

As of 1pm on Thursday afternoon, a total of 64,621 people had been tested for coronavirus with 61,352 coming back negative.

This sees an increase of 643 confirmed Covid-19 cases since Wednesday's announcement, at which point the total stood at 2,626.

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Roughly four in 10 of all UK deaths so far have occurred in London. People who live in the capital had previously been told to take extra care and be "vigilant" in their response to the disease.

Some 56 of the total deaths have been recorded in London with the next highest total occurring in the West Midlands - 27.

It comes after NHS England announced on Thursday that the total number of English cases rose by 29 to 128 people.

On Thursday, the Bank of England announced it would be cutting interest rates to a historic low - from 0.25 per cent to 0.1 per cent.

The unprecedented move was made alongside the news that the central bank would release an extra £200 billion to boost the economy in its second emergency move in just over a week.

It comes as Boris Johnson insisted the UK can "turn the tide" of coronavirus "within the next 12 weeks."

The prime minister told a daily press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic that he is "absolutely confident we can send coronavirus packing in this country, but only if we all take the steps outlined."

When questioned on what this meant, the PM said he wanted us to "get on top" of the virus, saying the disease did "not seem yet to be responding to our interventions."

Elsewhere, the Queen delivered a message of solidarity to the people of Britain asking everyone to come together to "focus on the common goal."

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: "At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal."

Her Majesty added: "Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge.

"You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part."