Biggest daily rise in UK coronavirus death toll brings total to 759

A further 181 people in the UK have died after contracting the coronavirus, in the biggest daily rise since the outbreak began.

The total number of virus-related deaths in the country now stands at 759.

It comes as the number of people to have tested positive for the virus rose by nearly 3000, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the UK to 14,579.

In Scotland, a further eight people have died as a result of the pandemic, bringing the total number of deaths to 33.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Friday that the number of Covid-19 cases in Scotland had risen to 1,059 after 165 more people tested positive.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed a briefing in Edinburgh on Friday. Credit: PA

In Wales, six more people have died after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total death toll to 34.

Public Health Wales said a further 180 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the confirmed total to 921 cases - though officials warned the number is "likely to be higher".

Northern Ireland reported 34 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive tests to 275.

A total of 13 people have died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both tested positive for Covid-19. Credit: PA

Though Scotland's chief medical officer said the estimated number of people to have contracted Covid-19 in Scotland likely stands at "more than 65,000 people".

Dr Catherine Calderwood said the "vast majority" of people may not realise they have contracted the virus or are self-isolating after experiencing symptoms.

She added: "I was quoted yesterday in some of the press as estimating that there were between 40,000 and 50,000 people in Scotland with coronavirus.

"While it's dangerous to go day by day, I want to really emphasise that I would now be estimating that there are more than 65,000 people in Scotland infected."

The latest figures come as the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary both announced they had tested positive for coronavirus.

In a video posted on Twitter, Boris Johnson said he was experiencing "mild symptoms" and is self-isolating but will "continue to lead the Government's response" to the pandemic.

Just hours later, Matt Hancock announced he too had tested positive for the virus. The Health Secretary said he would be self-isolating until next Thursday.

At an earlier press conference on Friday lead by Michael Gove, NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said "extraordinary efforts" were being taken, as he confirmed two new field hospitals will be opened in Manchester and Birmingham to swell capacity.

But he was forced to defend his track record heading the service, with the proportion of intensive care units (ICU) before the crisis among the lowest in Europe.

After the UK's death toll hit 759, Sir Simon said England's hospitals were currently treating 6,200 confirmed Covid-19 patients, warning that number "is only bound to rise in the coming days".

Sir Simon said England's hospitals were currently treating 6,200 confirmed Covid-19 patients, warning that number "is only bound to rise in the coming days".

Meanwhile the strain on the NHS is increasingly daily as staff try and juggle the pressures of the job with families.

Anaesthetist Niamh Gavin told ITV News: "I think we feel passionately, we want to look after people that's what I was trained to do. But at the same time, I'm a mum you know, I've got three kids, at the end of all this they are still going to need me.

"I want to give my all but I want the best possible prediction I can have at the same time."

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