Child, 11, becomes one of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victims as Covid-19 claims 917 lives in the last 24 hours – down from yesterday’s record 980
- It is a drop from yesterday’s 980 deaths, which remains the highest recorded in a single day so far
- But it does put Britain on course to hit the grim 10,000-death milestone on Easter Sunday
- The total cases also today jumped by 5,233 to 78,991 after an additional 18,091 tests were performed
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
An 11-year-old is among a further 917 patients who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total fatalities to 9,875.
It is a drop from yesterday’s 980 deaths, which remains the highest recorded in a single day so far and even surpassed Italy and Spain’s worst days.
But it does put Britain on course to hit the grim 10,000-death milestone on Easter Sunday.
The total cases also today jumped by 5,233 to 78,991 after an additional 18,091 tests were performed.
NHS England reported a further 823 patients had died in their hospitals in the past 24 hours.
Those who had lost their lives in England were aged between 11 and 102, and 33 of these – aged between 29 and 94 – had no underlying health conditions.
Scotland today confirmed a further 47 deaths, bringing the nation’s total fatalities to 542.
The rise in deaths came as ministers begged Britons to remain indoors on a warm Easter weekend.
But some of the public flouted these instructions and flocked to the nation’s parks, forcing police patrolling on horseback to intervene.
The police have been warned not to abuse their new beefed-up powers by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will confirm today’s latest figures at the daily Downing Street press briefing.
On another grim day in Britain’s coronavirus epidemic:
- A row erupted between Health Secretary Matt Hancock and a top nurse over his claims that medics were overusing personal protective equipment;
- Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the backlash over the Health Secretary’s claim that NHS staff were ‘wasting’ PPE;
- Downing Street said the Prime Minister was making extremely good progress with his recovery from coronavirus;
- Former Home Secretary David Blunkett blasted ‘Sermon on the Mount’ coronavirus briefings by ministers and accuses officials of ‘hectoring’ people;
- Scientists said coronavirus can spread 13 FEET from sufferers – more than twice the 6ft social distancing gap demanded by government – and that isolating infected people at home is not a good strategy
Paramedics take a patient into St Thomas’ Hospital, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recovering from coronavirus
A home made sign on the Yorkshire Moors warns visitors to go home as the country continues to live under lockdown restrictions
Ms Patel, who has largely been absent from the government’s public response to the health emergency, is likely to double down on calls to stay indoors.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning pleaded with the public to avoid going outside as the nation enters the critical period in the epidemic.
He said it is not clear if the UK has reached the peak of its outbreak, but acknowledged that hospital admissions were flattening.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The good news is we have seen the number of hospital admissions starting – starting, I stress – to flatten out.
‘You can see (from the Government’s charts) that instead of going up exponentially, as they would have done if we had not taken the measures, that they are starting to come down and flatten.
‘We haven’t seen that enough to have confidence to make changes.
‘The answer to your question, about have we reached the peak, is nobody knows.’
A police officer on a horse talks to sunbathers in Victoria Park, London, as Britons continue to bask in the glorious Easter sunshine
A group of eight police officers was seen walking past people taking their daily exercise in St James’s Park in central London