Coronavirus death toll in UK increases by 847 bringing total to 14,576

A total of 14,576 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, up by 847 from 13,729 the day before.

The Department of Health said as of 9am on Friday 17 April, a total of 438,991 coronavirus tests had been carried out, with 108,692 testing positive.

Another 738 patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in hospitals in England, according to the NHS.

Scotland recorded another 58 deaths, bringing the country's total to 837, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed.

In Wales another 11 hospital patients have died, bringing the total fatalities to 506.

The coronavirus death toll in Ireland has risen to 530, with 44 further deaths reported on Friday, the National Public Health Emergency Team has announced.

The figures come as a leading physician has warned Britain will face “further waves” of coronavirus and has "probably the highest death rates in Europe" because the Government was “too slow” to act.

Professor Anthony Costello says the government was 'too slow' to act on coronavirus. Credit: PA

Professor Anthony Costello, of University College London’s Institute for Global Health, told a committee of MPs that the “harsh reality” is that “we were too slow with a number of things”.

“What were the system errors that led us to have probably the highest death rates in Europe?” he asked.

“If we’re going to suppress the chain of transmission of this virus in the next stage we all hope that the national lockdown and social distancing will bring about a large suppression of the epidemic so far – but we’re going to face further waves,” he added.

Prof Costello, giving evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said we “should not have any blame at this stage” but that “we can make sure in the second wave we’re not too slow”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that testing will be expanded to those in the police, fire service and prisons, as well as critical local authority workers, the judiciary and Department for Work and Pensions staff - where required.

It follows criticism of a gulf between those being tested and the testing capacity, with just 16,000 tests being conducted in the 24 hours up to 9am on Wednesday, despite 35,000 tests being available.

Mr Hancock confirmed to the committee that more than 50,000 NHS workers have now been tested for coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know