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UK coronavirus death toll jumps to 578 as pandemic claims a further 115 victims

Daily Record logoDaily Record 26/03/2020 Graeme Thomson
The grim death toll in the UK from the cornavirus has now hit 578 © Getty The grim death toll in the UK from the cornavirus has now hit 578

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has jumped by more than a hundred in the past 24 hours to now stand at 578.

A further 115 people died after testing positive while the number of confirmed cases rose to 11,658 on Thursday from 9,529 on Wednesday.

There have been a total of 93,208 negative tests in the UK.

England accounted for 107 of the latest deaths bringing the grim tally down south to 521.

The 107 victims were aged between 32 and 102.

All but two patients, who were aged between 71 and 86, had underlying health conditions, and their families have been informed.

In Scotland, three coronavirus patients died to bring the total to 25 while the number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 rose by 175 to 894.

Scotland's chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood said around 40-50,000 people in the country may be infected with coronavirus.

She said: “Many of them do not yet know that they are infected.

"Nor indeed do they realise that they are going to potentially infect those around them."

The latest figures come as England's deputy chief medical officer said social distancing measures are starting to have an effect on the growth of coronavirus in the UK but "we must not take our foot off the pedal".

Dr Jenny Harries said she would not be drawn on a precise timing for when the peak of the epidemic would hit the UK, after experts predicted on Wednesday it was two to three weeks away.

And she said the advice for exercise to be once per day may be the "best opportunity" for people to get "super fit" and to improve their family's health.

She told reporters at the daily Westminster Government press briefing they would not be surprised that she would not predict a precise time for the peak of the epidemic.

"And the reason for this is we are only just starting to see a bite in the interventions of social distancing that have been put in place, it would be far too early to predict that," she said.

"I think we are starting to see some helpful movement.

"What we would be looking for is a change in the slope, rather than it being a very steep curve upwards we would be looking for it to be a gentler slope but we must not take out foot off the pedal.

"People have been really co-operative and I think in the last few days the public have really understood that this is something very serious and their actions wherever they are will save lives.

"So, it's too early to say yet but starting to move in the right direction."

On Wednesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London and one of the scientists advising the Government, said that if current measures continue, intensive care demand will peak in two to three weeks and should decline after that.

Dr Harries also urged people to look after their physical and mental health, adding that the 1.5 million people told not to go out for 12 weeks had been sent letters with links to ways they can protect their mental health.

Speaking about everybody else, she said: "If people are not going out to work and often that creates quite a stress in terms of travel time, they have more free time to themselves.

"And it might be the best opportunity the whole country has to say 'I'm going to use my one exercise session every day to ensure that by the time this is over I'm super fit and so is my family'.

"And in fact if you have something restricted it suddenly becomes quite a pleasurable event

"Even if you might not have wished to jog along the street before, doing so now might be quite a relief and quite a positive thing for us all to do."

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