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.
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.
Here's an update to bring you up to speed on some of the things that we are doing to protect our NHS.— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 1, 2020
We will beat coronavirus together by staying at home, protecting our NHS and saving lives. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/FOYfvzlQPC
“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.