Coronavirus: UK deaths rise 569 in highest daily hike yet to 2,921

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Medical workers clean an ambulance at St Thomas' Hospital, one of the many hospitals dealing with Coronavirus patients in London, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Medical workers clean an ambulance at St Thomas' Hospital in London as the number of UK cases and deaths continues to rise. (AP)

The number of UK patients who died after testing positive for coronavirus has risen by 569 to 2,921, from Wednesday’s tally of 2,352.

It is the biggest daily increase, just surpassing the previous day’s huge hike of 563.

The end of March and start of April has seen a rapid acceleration of new deaths, with the first in the UK having been recorded on 5 March.

There are now 33,718 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, it has been confirmed, which represents a rise of 4,244 from the 29,474 reported on Wednesday.

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The real figure is likely to be higher, however, due to limits in the government’s testing. It has focused on running tests on people who are admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson woke up to critical headlines in the newspapers after it emerged just 2,000 of the UK’s half a million NHS workers had been tested for COVID-19.

It follows the death of five NHS workers and has left staff having to self-isolate at home if they displayed symptoms of coronavirus, regardless of whether they had it or not.

The prime minister stressed the importance of testing in a Twitter video and insisted the government was going to increase its ability to carry out test for the virus.

“I want to say a special word about testing, because it is so important, and as I have said for weeks and weeks, this is the way through,” Johnson said.

“This is how we will unlock the coronavirus puzzle. This is how we will defeat it in the end.”

The government believes it can begin running 15,000 tests a day imminently and aims for 25,000 a day by mid-April.

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