The UK has seen its biggest day-on-day rise in deaths since the Covid-19 outbreak began.
A total of 759 people have now died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed with coronavirus, while 113,777 have tested positive, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Many more people are thought to be infected.
It took 13 days for the number of deaths in the UK to go from one to just above 100.
It took a further eight days to reach the latest total of 759, analysis by the PA news agency shows.
The jump in coronavirus-related deaths in the UK from 578 to 759 is an increase of 181 – the biggest day-on-day rise and a 31% jump on the figures released on 26 March.
It comes as the Prime Minister and Health Secretary said they were self-isolating after they tested positive for coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said he would still lead the “national fightback” against the virus from his flat above Number 11.
The 55-year-old noticed that he had mild symptoms on 26 March and received the test results at midnight that day, Downing Street said.
Johnson and Matt Hancock have been working closely with the country’s top medics, including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Some scientists were critical of the fact the House of Commons has largely stayed “open for business”, enabling the virus to spread.
Professor Susan Michie, director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, said: “Whilst the PM was telling people to stay at home and keep at least two metres apart from each other, the House of Commons was open for business and face-to-face parliamentary activities were carrying on.
“Given the transmission routes of touching contaminated surfaces and breathing in virus-laden droplets, it should not come as a surprise to hear that the PM and Health Secretary have tested positive for coronavirus.
“There are many reasons why those in leadership positions, including in Government, should practise what they preach.”
Meanwhile Radd Seiger, spokesman for the family of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn, said Hancock “irresponsibly failed to socially distance himself” when they met him on 18 March.
Seiger claimed the Health Secretary had hugged the family and shaken his hand as they met at the Department for Health and Social Care to discuss the teenager’s death.
– Firefighters have agreed to deliver food and medicine, drive ambulances and retrieve bodies if mass casualties arise.
– Police began fining people breaching coronavirus lockdown rules, less than 24 hours after new laws were brought into force.
– GP Habib Zaidi, 76, who died at Southend Hospital in Essex, is feared to have become the first doctor in the UK to have died after contracting coronavirus.
– UK supermarkets said they will use a Government database of 1.5 million vulnerable shoppers to help prioritise delivery slots
– Labour deputy leadership candidate Angela Rayner announced on Twitter that she is self-isolating after suffering symptoms, while Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, is also self-isolating with symptoms.
– As of 1pm on 26 March, 27 prisoners had tested positive for coronavirus in 14 prisons.
Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wished Johnson a “speedy recovery” and said he hoped the PM’s “family are safe and healthy”.
He added: “Coronavirus can and does affect anyone. Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else.”
Featured image via NIAID/Flickr
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