UK coronavirus death toll rises by 563 in biggest day-on-day increase, bringing total to 2,352

The number of patients to have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has risen by 563 to 2,352, the Department of Health said.

At the same point the day before, health officials reported 1,789 virus-related deaths in UK hospitals.

It comes after a 13-year-old boy became the first known child in the UK to die after contracting Covid-19.

A total of 29,474 have now tested positive for coronavirus across the UK, with more than 150,000 tests administered.

The latest number of positive tests marks an increase of nearly 20,000 confirmed cases in the UK in just one week.

In the seven days up to April 1 an average of 8,000 new people were tested for coronavirus. In the seven days before that, the daily average was around 5,800.

A person takes a swab at a Covid-19 drive-through test centre for NHS workers which has opened at an Ikea store in Wembley. Credit: PA

The latest figures come as the Government faces increasing pressure to ramp up testing, as healthcare leaders warned there is "no immediate prospect" of mass NHS staff testing.

Downing Street has confirmed "just 2,000 frontline NHS England staff have been tested for coronavirus," despite 1.2 million people working for the health service.

Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick admitted on Wednesday, only 900 NHS staff had been tested over the weekend as the programme is rolled out.

Wednesday's rise in virus-related deaths marks the biggest day-on-day increase since the outbreak began. Credit: PA

Elsewhere several temporary field hospitals are being set up across the UK, as the NHS aims to boost its bed capacity to cope with the growing number of Covid-19 cases.

Work is already underway at sites in Wales, Cumbria, Scotland and the Midlands, while several sites in Northern Ireland are being considered.

It follows the conversion of London's Excel Centre - which for the foreseeable future will be known as the NHS Nightingale.

The ExCel centre in London has been made into a temporary hospital to cope with the rise in demand during the crisis. Credit: PA

Of the latest UK figures, 486 virus-related deaths occurred in NHS hospitals in England - bringing the total death toll to 2,137 NHS England said.

Health officials said all the patients were aged between 13 and 99-years-old.

Twenty of the latest patients in England to have died after testing positive for the virus had no underlying health condition.

A further 29 patients in Wales have died after contracting the virus. Public Health Wales says the death toll there now stands at 98.

Health officials reported 274 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, taking the total in Wales to 1,837 - though authorities said the true number was likely to be higher.

In Scotland, 2,310 people have tested positive for Covid-19 - while 76 patients have died having contracting the virus.

The number of people who have died in Northern Ireland after contracting coronavirus has risen by two to 30, health officials said.

Northern Ireland has so far reported 689 confirmed cases of Covid-19.