UK coronavirus death toll rises to 7,978 as Dominic Raab says 'it's too early' to lift restrictions

The coronavirus death toll has risen to 7,978, an increase of 881 from the day before, Dominic Raab confirmed.

The Foreign Secretary was speaking at the daily press conference, in which he said it was "too early" to lift the lockdown measures.

Mr Raab said a decision would not be made on the lockdown restrictions until the end of next week, as data on the impact of social distancing was still being gathered.

He said 243,421 people have been tested for the virus and 65,077 have tested positive for Covid-19.

"And of those who have contracted the virus, 7,978 have sadly died and our thoughts and our prayers are with their family and friends," Mr Raab said.

Dominic Raab said a decision on the lockdown would not be made until the end of next week. Credit: PA

The latest increase comes as Downing Street hinted coronavirus restrictions will not be lifted next week, following a review of the measure.

Mr Raab said: "It's been almost three weeks and we're starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we've all made.

"But the deaths are still rising and we haven't yet reached the peak of the virus. So it's still too early to lift the measures that we put in place.

"We must stick to the plan and we must continue to be guided by the science."

He added we must not give "coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and to hurt our country."

The latest death toll accounts for the number of patients to have died in hospitals as of 5pm on Wednesday.