Another 368 coronavirus deaths are recorded in UK today – the lowest figure this month
- A further 336 people who tested positive for the Coronavirus died in England
- In Scotland another 18 deaths were recorded, bringing its total to 1,249
- A further 14 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Another 368 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the UK today – indicating a possible new low for this month’s figures.
A further 336 people who tested positive for the Coronavirus died in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in the country to 18,420.
A total of 1,249 patients have now died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19, a rise of 18 from 1,231 on Saturday, the Scottish Government confirmed.
The number of people who have tested positive for the virus north of the border is 10,324, up 273 from Saturday’s figure of 10,051.
The figures published on the Scottish Government’s website confirmed 1,735 patients are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, down 13 from 1,748 the previous day. Of these, 133 were in intensive care – a fall of seven.
A further 14 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of deaths there to 788, health officials said.
And Public Health Wales said a further 178 people had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 9,078.
Northern Ireland’s figures for today have not yet been revealed – nor have those for the UK as whole, which can differ from the totals of the union’s countries, due to the way they are calculated.
Figures from the UK’s nations include those who die in hospital – but not care home deaths, which are believed to be a significant portion of the true numbers.
Another 368 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the UK today – indicating a possible new low for this month’s figures
Dominic Raab today insisted the UK is ‘on track’ to carry out 100,000 daily coronavirus tests by the end of April
There are now 31 drive-through testing sites in operation across the UK. A soldier is pictured taking a swab from a key worker at a testing station in Chessington
But figures revealed so far indicate a possible new low for deaths in the country.
NHS England releases figures every day showing the dates of every coronavirus-related death in hospitals in England, and will often include previously uncounted deaths that took place several days or even weeks ago.
This is due to the time it takes for deaths to be confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 – along with processing post-mortem examinations and data from the tests to be validated.
Dr Giri Shankar, from Public Health Wales, said: ‘Based on the new case numbers there is emerging evidence suggesting a levelling-off in the number of new cases of Covid-19 in Wales, which may be an indication of the effectiveness of lockdown measures.
‘However, it is still too early to tell for sure, and it is too soon to end the current social distancing rules.
‘Public Health Wales fully supports the First Minister’s announcement on revised stay-at-home regulations.
NHS England releases figures every day showing the dates of every coronavirus-related death in hospitals in England, and will often include previously uncounted deaths that took place several days or even weeks ago
‘The changes supplement the rules already in force but they respond to some challenges being faced in parts of the country and by families throughout Wales.
‘The message has not changed – anyone can get coronavirus, anyone can spread it. Stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.’
It comes as Dominic Raab today insisted the UK government is ‘on track’ to hit Matt Hancock’s 100,000 daily coronavirus tests target by the end of the month despite the number of checks continuing to lag far below capacity.
Mr Hancock set the target at the start of April and ministers now have just four days to get to the six-figure testing number.
The latest published statistics show daily capacity for tests is at about 51,000 but the number actually carried out is still below 30,000, leaving the government with a massive task if it is to deliver on the Health Secretary’s goal.
But Mr Raab said this morning he expected there to be a ‘big surge’ in tests carried out this week as extra capacity ‘comes on tap’.
His comments came as key workers again struggled to secure a home testing kit after the government’s website stated there were ‘non available’ just twenty minutes after the latest batch of the checks was released today.
The test site launched on Friday in an effort get key workers who are isolating checked so they can go back to work.
But so far it has struggled with high demand, with tests running out in a matter of minutes.
Mr Hancock has pledged 5,000 tests a day would be made available for key workers through the online portal, in an effort to ‘get Britain back on her feet’. Key workers can also book slots at drive-through testing centres across the country.
Mr Hancock is under huge political pressure to deliver on the target and he said on Friday he does believe 100,000 tests will be carried out every day as of the end of this month ‘but nothing is guaranteed in life’.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, pictured in Downing Street on Friday, is facing increasing political pressure over his 100,000 testing target
That pressure has only grown after England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty told MPs that the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) had not signed off on the number.
Mr Raab was told during an appearance on Sky News this morning that just 28,700 tests were carried out in 24 hours according to the latest available data.
Asked if he believes the government will get to 100,000 by the end of the month, he said: ‘You are right about that in terms of the latest figures for tests carried out although it is a bit old now because we have come through the weekend, we have got new data.
‘Our capacity for carrying out tests is now at 51,000 per day so we have passed the halfway line to our target.
‘There are two things in the last week that really matter and you always get the exponential increase in a project like this in the last week as the capacity comes on tap.’
He continued: ‘First of all, with the NHS portal we are making sure people can access the tests either through home kits, through any one of the 31 drive-through centres and increasingly with mobile testing labs and the military are helping spread those across the country.
‘The second thing is we focused initially on NHS workers, then on care workers, we have now brought it to include all essential workers.
‘So I think we are going to see a big surge in the last week and we are on track to hit that target.’
On the booking website’s first day in operation some 46,000 people attempted to secure a test with available home checks and drive-through slots gone in a matter of minutes.
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