Coronavirus: Confirmed UK cases jump to 798 in biggest daily increase

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
A man wearing a protective face mask in Oxford Street, London. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective face mask in Oxford Street, London. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

The number of people with coronavirus across the UK has risen to 798 – up from 590 on Thursday.

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Friday’s figure sees an increase of 208 in the last 24 hours: the biggest day-on-day jump since the outbreak began.

The previous biggest rise in cases was 134 in the 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday.

The Department of Health confirmed the death toll remained at 10. However, the figure rose to 11 later on Friday afternoon, when Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said an “older” patient with pre-existing health conditions had died.

Two women wearing protective face masks stand amongst tourists watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, London. (AP)
Two women wearing protective face masks stand amongst tourists watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, London. (AP)

As of 9am on Friday, a total of 32,771 people had been tested across the UK.

It means of those patients tested so far, 2.4% have had a positive result.

However, the government’s top scientists have warned 10,000 people may have already been infected by the virus.

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Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is to hold talks with world leaders about the international response to the coronavirus outbreak, Downing Street said.

Boris Johnson speaks at a news conference addressing the government's response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson speaks at a news conference addressing the government's response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (Getty Images)

Friday’s meeting comes after the prime minister held a Cobra meeting at Downing Street on Thursday - and escalated the government’s response to the “delay” phase of the fight against COVID-19.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said he had spoken to French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justine Trudeau and will be talking to other leaders.

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“The prime minister thinks that this crisis affects countries around the globe and it requires a global response,” the spokesman said.

A woman wearing a protective face mask walking down Oxford Street in London, as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected. (Getty Images)
A woman wearing a protective face mask walking down Oxford Street in London, as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected. (Getty Images)

He added that the Ministry of Defence was making 38 non-uniform military planners available to help local areas draw up plans to cope with the outbreak.

“It is 38 non-uniform MoD planners who will be helping local areas to draw up their plans as to how they will support public services and emergency services throughout the outbreak,” the spokesman said.

Read more: Self-isolating Tory MP’s wife says minister with coronavirus' jeopardising' her family

“They will also be in a position to help them test their existing plans.”

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised the government’s response, with Boris Johnson’s official spokesman countering on Friday: “We are very clear where we take our advice from.

“That is from the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical officer.

Read more: Can the NHS deal with a coronavirus pandemic?

“Our aim is to reduce the peak of the outbreak so the NHS will be in stronger state as the weather improves.”

The government has ruled out banning large-scale public events and closing schools for the time being.

But a joint announcement on Friday from the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship confirmed the professional game would be postponed in England until 3 April at the earliest.

Read more: Coronavirus: Warmer weather won't stop the spread of Covid-19, claims virologist

The postponement takes in England’s two friendlies against Italy and Denmark on March 27 and 31.

The English Premier League has suspended all fixtures until April 4 after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus. (Getty Images)
The English Premier League has suspended all fixtures until April 4 after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus. (Getty Images)

On Friday, London become the latest city to close its St Patrick’s Day parade amid coronavirus fears.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “disappointed” to cancel the celebration on Tuesday, but said he had “no choice” but to do so.

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