Coronavirus: UK sees largest rise in COVID-19 deaths in a day as total hits 35

David Mercer, news reporter
·2-min read
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past Buckingham Palace, London, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said ministers are yet to make a decision on whether to ban gatherings of over 500 people in the rest of the UK, after Scotland said it would bring in restrictions from Monday. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)

Thirty-five people have now died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus following the largest increase in deaths in a 24-hour period.

The Department of Health announced on Sunday that 14 more patients have died - all in England - after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

They were aged between 59 and 94 and had underlying health conditions, according to NHS England.

The youngest victim was named as Nick Matthews, 59, who was being treated at Bristol Royal Infirmary after testing positive for coronavirus.

His wife Mary Matthews wrote on Facebook that she had lost her "life partner and soul mate but most of all my best friend" and confirmed her family is in isolation.

She added that her family were "beyond proud to have had such a big character in our lives".

There are now 1,372 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK after a rise of 232 over the last 24 hours.

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They include six residents at Highgate Care Home in North Lanarkshire who were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The number of people in the UK tested for the virus has risen to 40,279, with 38,907 proving to be negative.

Of the 35 UK deaths, 34 have been in England and one in Scotland.

In Scotland, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has risen to 153 - a rise of 32 since Saturday.

In Wales, health authorities confirmed 34 new cases on Sunday, bringing the country's total to 94.

Eleven new cases have also been recorded in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of known cases there to 45.

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that over-70s would be asked to self-isolate "in the coming weeks" in the fight against the outbreak.

Mr Hancock also told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that the UK was likely to need "many more times" the amount of ventilators it has, amid concerns hospitals will come under intense pressure.

He said the growing virus outbreak meant "the elderly and vulnerable" would be asked to "shield themselves by self-isolating".

The health secretary said a bill setting out emergency powers to deal with the outbreak will be published on Thursday, and details of what the powers will include will be shared on Tuesday.

Mr Hancock said ministers are yet to make a decision on whether to ban gatherings of more than 500 people in the rest of the UK, after Scotland said it would bring in restrictions from Monday.

The government is in talks with private hospitals about the possibility of taking over beds, in a further sign of the pressures that will face the health service at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

In other developments: