Coronavirus death toll in UK increases by 739 bringing total to 27,510

More than 27,000 people have died in the UK after contracting Covid-19.

A further 739 people have died after contracting coronavirus in the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed.

The deaths in hospitals, care homes and the wider community means the toll of fatalities in the UK has risen to 27,510.

Another 352 patients have died in hospitals in England from coronavirus, according to the NHS.

In Scotland, a total of 1,515 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 40 from 1,475 on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

In Wales another 17 people have died in hospitals, bringing the total fatalities there to 952, according to Public Health Wales.

Elsewhere, the coronavirus death toll in Northern Ireland has risen to 365, with 18 further deaths confirmed by the Department of Health.

Second virus wave may be more severe than first, England’s chief medical officer has warned. Credit: PA

The latest figures comes as the Health Secretary confirmed the government had met its target to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April after 122,347 tests were performed in the 24 hours up to 9am on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, England's chief medical officer warned that a second wave of coronavirus could be "more severe" than the first and may spread more rapidly if it arrives in winter.

Every country seeking to ease lockdown measures now must negotiate an "extremely difficult balancing act" to keep the pandemic under control, Professor Chris Whitty said in an online Gresham College lecture.

In particular, the virus reproduction "R" number must be kept below one – meaning each infected person could expect to pass it to fewer than one other person on average.

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