UK coronavirus death toll reaches 281 as 48 die in a single day

22 March 2020, 17:00

The death toll in the UK continues to rise
The death toll in the UK continues to rise. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

48 more people have died in the UK in a single day from coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 281.

The latest figure means today has become the deadliest so far for patients with Covid-19, and puts the UK ahead of where Italy was two weeks ago.

NHS England said an 18 year old and a 102 year old are amongst those to have passed away.

The total number of positive cases has risen to 5,683.

The European nation has now seen over 5,000 people die from the virus and has been placed in a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the spread.

Wales recorded seven more deaths in 24 hours, bringing their total to 12.

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Public Health Wales said five of the deaths were at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, one in Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, and one at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. All those who died were over 70 and had underlying medical conditions.

On Sunday, health officials said another 71 people had tested positive for coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 347.

Northern Ireland has reported its second Covid-19 death.

The elderly patient had an underlying medical condition and was being treated in hospital, Stormont's health department said.

Scotland said it has now had 10 deaths.

It comes as Boris Johnson announced that members of vulnerable groups will need to isolate for three months.

He said: "Please don't think that fresh air means you have some immunity" and said people needed to stay at least 2 metres apart.

He added the these measure were under "constant review" and "further measures" would be brought in if needed.

When asked what these measures would entail, Mr Johnson said people wouldn't need "too much imagination" to understand what would need to happen.

He said: "And I say this now – on Sunday evening- take this advice seriously, follow it, because it is absolutely crucial.

"And as I have said throughout this process we will keep the implementation of these measures under constant review and, yes of course, we will bring forward further measures if we think that is necessary."

Mr Johnson has come under increasing pressure to put the country on lockdown after thousands were pictured out and about in public - risking the virus being spread.

1.5 million people have now been identified as being vulnerable, and will be contacted by telephone and letter to ensure they stay at home and do not go out for a minimum for 12 weeks.