#coronavirus


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The number of people in the UK who have died with coronavirus has jumped by more than 100 in a day for the first time.

The death toll has risen from 475 to 578, health officials have confirmed.

A total of 104,866 people have been tested, of whom 93,208 tested negative and 11,568 were positive.

Those latest figures are as of Thursday morning, and come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an aid programme to help the self-employed.

The government had been criticised for failing to provide backing for self-employed and freelance workers in its earlier huge package of economic measures.

Meanwhile, in a further development, data collected via the NHS’s 111 telephone service is to be mixed with other sources to help predict where ventilators, hospital beds and medical staff will be most in need.

The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, a senior hospital figure warned that London hospitals are facing a « tsunami » of coronavirus cases and are beginning to run out of intensive care beds.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said while critical care capacity had been expanded hospitals in the capital had seen an « explosion » in demand.

A third of the UK cases have been diagnosed in the city.

Ministers are being urged to step up testing for coronavirus, especially among health workers.

But the UK’s chief medical officer dismissed suggestions a coronavirus antibody test will be ready to buy online next week.

Professor Chris Whitty said the accuracy of the tests needed to be properly tested before they were made available, and he stressed that frontline NHS workers would need them first so they could get back to work if they have already had the virus.



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