Monday 23 March 2020 5:54 pm

Coronavirus: UK death toll rises to 335 as pandemic accelerates

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK has risen to 335, a jump of 54 in the last 24 hours.

The increase is the second highest yet recorded for a 24 hour period, behind 20-21 March, when 56 deaths were recorded.

Read more: Coronavirus: All non-essential stores reportedly set to close

As of 1pm, the Department of Health said that there were 6,650 positive cases, an increase of nearly 1,000 cases on yesterday’s 5,683.

Nearly 84,000 people have now been tested for the disease, with 77,295 tests returning negative results.

The new figures come as the UK awaits Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily update on the crisis, which has been moved from its 5pm slot due to a Cobra meeting.

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Earlier today World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the pandemic was now “accelerating”:

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases”, he said.

The UK’s chief scientific advisors have warned that the UK is entering a surge period, in which the number of cases is expected to increase rapidly.

Read more: Coronavirus: Boris Johnson’s designated survivor is Dominic Raab

In response, the government is reportedly set to order the closure of all non-essential shops in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Officials have pleaded with the UK populace to heed the advice it has already been given over practising social distancing and self-isolation to slow the outbreak. 

More to follow.