UK coronavirus death toll hits 1,019 as a further 260 people die

28 March 2020, 14:09

A further 260 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus
A further 260 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The UK's coronavirus death toll has surged by 260 - the biggest leap in the space of 24 hours - taking the total tally to 1,019.

A total of 120,776 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Britain as of 9am 28 March, of which 17,089 have returned positive and 103,687 have returned negative.

The total number of deaths in the UK is accurate as of 5pm on Friday 27 March, the Department of Health said.

This represents a 260 increase on the 759 deaths reported the day before, by far the biggest day-on-day surge in the country since the outbreak began.

At least 13 of the victims had no underlying health conditions, according to NHS England.

All them were aged between 33 and 100 and the highest number of deaths was recorded at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, where 16 people died.

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Saturday's announcement represents a 34 per cent increase in the tally reported on Friday, the largest percentage jump since 18 March when the total rose from 71 to 104 - a 46 per cent rise.

It took 13 days for the UK's death toll to go from just one to just over 100, whereas it has taken just 10 days for it to surge from 100 to over 1,000, meaning the daily tally has significantly picked up speed as predicted.

The reason why the figures for deaths and the number of confirmed cases are reported from separate points of the day is that the two sets of statistics are compiled from different sources.

It comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surged beyond 600,000 as new cases continue to soar in Europe and the United States.

In the UK, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack became the latest minister to announce he was self-isolating after developing mild symptoms of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock are both having to lead the Covid-19 response from their respective homes after being diagnosed with the disease.

The government has been accused of failing to follow its own social distancing rules following the announcements.

England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has also begun self-isolating with symptoms.