Steve Allen 4am - 7am
UK coronavirus death toll surges by 209 to 1,228
29 March 2020, 14:02
A further 209 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, bringing the nation's death toll to 1,228.
There has also been a 2,433 increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, rising from 17,089 on Saturday to 19,522 today.
The rise in deaths is slightly down from yesterday's figures - there were 260 deaths reported yesterday.
As of 9am this morning, a total of 127,737 have been tested with roughly 85 per cent - 108,215 - returning as negative.
UPDATE on coronavirus (#COVID19) testing in the UK:— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) March 29, 2020
As of 9am 29 March, a total of 127,737 have been tested:
As of 5pm on 28 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 1,228 have sadly died. pic.twitter.com/Yjy0zQdF8u
Today's death toll is accurate as of 5pm yesterday. The reason for the separate times is because the sources for the tally of deaths and total confirmed cases are different.
The UK is currently under strict lockdown rules, with citizens banned from gathering in groups larger than two and told to stay in their homes unless they need to get groceries or have some exercise.
Earlier today, the leading epidemiology adviser to the government, Professor Neil Ferguson said the lockdown will need to remain in place until June to give the country the best chance of controlling it.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the lockdown will be in place for a "significant period" and could last longer if people do not stick to the rules.
He recognised the scale of the "sacrifice" the public has taken so far but added he could not make "an accurate prediction" on how long it must last.
The UK leader said "things will get worse before they get better" in the battle against Covid-19 in a letter to the nation.