Coronavirus death toll in UK rises by 684, bringing total to 3,605

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK has risen by 684, bringing the total to 3,605.

The increase is the highest day-on-day rise since the outbreak began and up from Thursday's rise of 569 deaths.

As of 9am on Friday morning, a total of 38,168 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Government has launched a new advertising campaign amid the crisis. Credit: PA

Health authorities in England have reported the highest number of patients to have died after testing positive for the virus, with 3,302 deaths.

Just over half of coronavirus-related deaths announced by hospitals in England have been people aged 80 and over, according to NHS England.

Of Thursday's figures, 24 virus-related deaths occurred in Wales, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 141.

A total of 172 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19, an increase of 46 more deaths from Thursday's figure.

In Northern Ireland, a further 12 people have died after contracting the virus bringing the total death toll to 48.

As of Friday evening, another 22 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in Ireland, bringing the overall death toll to 120, authorities said.

Medical staff on the Covid-19 ward at the Neath Port Talbot Hospital, in Wales. Credit: PA

Public Health England also confirmed that 11,764 coronavirus tests were carried out on Thursday in England.

The latest figures come as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world has passed the one million threshold.

Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Covid-19 had left him feeling as if he had swallowed razors as his body fought against the disease.

He said he was unable to eat, drink or sleep properly for "two days or so" owing to the impact Covid-19 had on him.

Describing his own experience as "pretty nasty", he told Good Morning Britain: "I had two days or so when it was like just razors in your throat, a very, very sore throat. I couldn't eat and I couldn't drink.

"The worst bit was on the way down, worrying how bad it would get because we've all seen how bad it can get and it seems to be indiscriminate."

He said he had also suffered a "bit of a cough" and lost half a stone in weight.

Mr Hancock has also said he has not been advised to change the UK’s approach to members of the public wearing face masks, as the US Government formalises guidance to recommend many Americans wear them to help fight Covid-19.

He told Good Morning Britain on Friday: "Masks are very important to protect healthcare workers… but that (asking the public to wear them) isn’t something that we’ve done here because we’ve followed the advice and we’ve followed the medical and scientific advice and the whole basis of our response has been making sure that we follow the science."

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know