UK coronavirus death toll reaches 17,337 as day-on-day increase nearly doubles in 24 hours

A total of 17,337 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 828 from the same point the day before.

The figure is a significant jump from Monday's update when health authorities reported 449 new virus-related deaths in the UK.

The latest Department for Health update comes as England and Wales recorded its highest weekly death toll for 20 years according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

  • ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke explains how the daily figures are calculated:

Of the latest UK death toll, 778 virus-related deaths occurred in hospitals in England. The total death toll in the country now stands at 15, 607.

The latest reported deaths in England 136 occurred on April 20, while 236 happened on April 19, and 121 on April 18.

The delay in reporting can be attributed to delays in obtaining positive results, post-mortem outcomes, and for testing data to be validated.

A rainbow painted on the street thanks NHS staff working through the crisis. Credit: PA

The latest figures show April 8 is currently the deadliest day for coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals in England and Wales, although that could change in future updates.

The death rate had been consistent for the past 13 days, a panel convened by the Science Media Centre said about the data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday.

A further 70 virus-related deaths were reported in Scotland on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll there to 985 patients.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 166 Covid-19 patients remain in intensive care, but added that hospital figures appear to be stabilising and numbers of people in critical care appears to be reducing

A simulation technician takes part in medical training inside a ward at the official opening of the new Dragon's Heart Hospital, built at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Credit: PA

In Wales health officials reported 25 further virus-related deaths, bringing the total death toll there to 609.

Dr Giri Shankar, from Public Health Wales, said the number of new case numbers suggested a "levelling-off [...] which may be an indication of the effectiveness of lockdown measures".

But added: "It is still too early to tell for sure and it is too soon to end the current social distancing rules."

Health officials in Northern Ireland reported a further nine people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the death toll there to 207.

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