Coronavirus deaths in UK rise by 881 to 7,978

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Testing for coronavirus continues to take place, adding to the new case figures released by public health authorities. (PA Images)

The total number of coronavirus deaths recorded by the UK government has risen by 881 to 7,978.

Deaths in England have risen to 7,248, an increase of 765 from yesterday’s reported total of 6,483.

Health bodies in Scotland on Thursday recorded 81 new deaths to bring its total to 447, while Wales reported 41, taking its total to 286. Northern Ireland has reported another four for a total of 82, bringing the total across the UK to 8,063.

The figures issued by each nation are separate to the UK-wide figure released by the Department of Health due to differences in how deaths are counted.

The UK figure was released later today. There are 65,077 cases nationally.

There have been more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases and 88,000 deaths confirmed around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 330,000 people have recovered.

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On Thursday, Boris Johnson had spent a third night in intensive care and culture secretary Oliver Dowden said his condition remained the same.

Asked if the prime minister would decide on whether to extend the lockdown next week, Dowden told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He’s in a stable condition, he seems to be doing reasonably well, he was sat up and engaging with medical staff.

“But we have a well-established mechanism for the first minister Dominic Raab to take the prime minister’s place in chairing such meetings, he will chair Cobra and he will chair the relevant decisions.

Raab continues to deputise for Boris Johnson. (10 Downing Street via AP)

“This is just about going through a proper process, that’s why we’re waiting for next week.”

Foreign secretary and first secretary of state Dominic Raab said a review of the lockdown will only take place when there is enough evidence as to whether the restrictions are working.

But it is not expected to be lifted next week and a chief constable has warned his force will ramp up enforcement of the quarantine rules.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the “three-week grace period is over”.

“These are not guidelines anymore. This is the law,” he said.

“We haven’t issued any fixed penalty notices, but we have charged a number of people with COVID-related offences.

“We’ve had examples of people sunbathing in the park, having barbecues in the park, we’ve had large gatherings of family members.

Chief constable Nick Adderley warned of tougher enforcement of coronavirus restrictions. (PA Images)

“To those people, I am saying ‘your time is up’.”

Another country that is examining how it can leave lockdown is Italy. Prime minister Giuseppe Conte, warned in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday that the European Union was at risk because of the coronavirus crisis.

Italy is among the member states that has lobbied for EU countries to share the debt accumulated by countries raising money to sustain their economies during the outbreak.

“If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real,” Conte said.

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