Saturday 28 March 2020 2:48 pm

Coronavirus UK: Death toll passes 1,000 after biggest daily increase

The number of people to have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has reached 1,019 – passing the 1,000 mark for the first time.

It comes after a further 260 people were confirmed to have died today by the department of health, in the UK’s biggest daily increase.

The vast majority of deaths occurred in England, while there were seven in Scotland and four in Wales.

Read more: Coronavirus testing to be rolled out for frontline NHS staff this weekend

According to NHS England, all of the 246 victims were between 33 and 100 years old, and most had underlying health conditions. Although, 13 did not.

It is a 34 per cent increase on yesterday’s total number of deaths and means it took the UK just 10 days after reaching 100 deaths to reach 1,000. In contract it took 13 days to go from one death to 100.

There have now been 7,089 confirmed cases in the UK, while the number of tests completed exceeds 120,000, as of 9am this morning, officials said.

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for coronavirus, while chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty was also forced to self-isolate.

The government are hoping to ramp up the number of tests being conducted, starting this weekend, as they prioritise NHS frontline staff.

The news comes as the government builds an emergency mega-hospital in London’s Excel building.

Read more: UK credit rating downgraded due to coronavirus impact and Brexit uncertainty

Once work is completed, NHS Nightingale will be able to hold 4,000 patients at a time.

Similar temporary hospitals are set to be built in Birmingham and Manchester.

While there will also be a mortuary for up to 12,000 bodies to be held at Birmingham airport in preparation of a worst-case scenario.