UK coronavirus death toll rises to 144

The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK has risen to 144.

In the past 24 hours, the UK has seen an increase of 643 new cases of Covid-19 - bringing the national total to 3,269.

Around four in 10 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK so far have been in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital is "at a more advanced stage" of the Covid-19 outbreak compared to elsewhere in the UK.

A sign showing that the pharmacy is out of stock of various hygiene products. Credit: PA

According to calculations by the PA news agency, some 56 of the 144 coronavirus deaths have been recorded by hospitals or NHS trusts based in London.

Areas with the highest number of deaths from the virus are the West Midlands - where 27 people have died - and south-east England, where 20 deaths have been reported.

Elsewhere, all other areas are in single figures.

On Thursday, a further 29 deaths were reported in England.

Busy London routes have been emptied as people social distance. Credit: AP

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the number of virus-related deaths had doubled from three to six.

While Northern Ireland reported the first patient to have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

According to the Department of Health, the patient was elderly and had an underlying medical condition.

People are being encouraged to 'stay at home' in a bid to limit the spread of the virus. Credit: PA

Two people have died in Wales. On Thursday, Public Health Wales confirmed a further 24 people had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 170.

It comes as the Government introduces increasingly strict measures to limit the coronavirus outbreak.

At a daily presser on the Covid-19 crisis, Boris Johnson said the UK could "turn the tide" on the outbreak in the next 12 weeks if people take the precautionary steps outlined.

Among these, UK schools will close to all pupils except vulnerable children and those of key workers. Schools in England, Wales and Scotland will close from Friday and Northern Ireland schools will close from Monday.

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