UK sees its biggest jump in Covid-19 deaths as Johnson and Hancock test positive

The UK has seen its biggest day-on-day rise in deaths since the Covid-19 outbreak began, as Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock said they have tested positive for the virus.

A total of 759 people have now died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed with coronavirus, while 113,777 have tested positive, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Hundreds of thousands more people are thought to be infected.

New coronavirus cases in the UK
(PA Graphics)

It took 13 days for the number of deaths in the UK to go from one to just above 100.

It took a further eight days to reach the latest total of 759, analysis by the PA news agency shows.

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Britain before and after coronavirus lockdown
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Britain before and after coronavirus lockdown
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Bournemouth beach on 28/06/19 (top), and on Monday 23/03/20 (bottom), the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's National Gallery in Trafalgar Square on 28/01/14 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of London's Canary Wharf Jubilee Line platform on 31/01/13 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's Tower Bridge on 16/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of commuters at Waterloo station in London on 12/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of ticket holders for Comedy about a Bank Robbery in line outside the Criterion Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of of commuters crossing London Bridge on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of London's Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard on 13/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Bournemouth beach on 14/09/19 (top), and on Monday 23/03/20 (bottom), the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of people walking across the Millennium Bridge, London, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background, on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of London's Canary Wharf Station on 17/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of ticket holders for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in line outside the Palace Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of London's Canary Wharf Station on 17/03/20 (top), and on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of visitors to Leicester Square, London, on 13/03/20 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20, (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of ticket holders for Ticket holders for Come from Away in line outside the Phoenix Theatre, London on 12/03/20 (top), and the theatre on Tuesday 24/03/20 (bottom), the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of Edinburgh's Royal Mile on 14/03/20, and on Saturday (21/03/20) after bars, pubs and restaurants were instructed to close. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown on Monday night to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of people on the beach at Barry Island, South Wales, on 14/09/19 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Composite photos of people on the beach at Barry Island, South Wales, on 19/06/17 (top), and on Wednesday 25/03/20 (bottom), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A composite image of the streets in the centre of Bath busy with visitors and shoppers on 11/03/20 (top) and the empty streets on Tuesday 24/03/20 the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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The jump in coronavirus-related deaths in the UK from 578 to 759 is an increase of 181 – the biggest day-on-day rise and a 31% jump on the figures released on Thursday.

It comes as the Prime Minister and Health Secretary said they were self-isolating after they tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Johnson, who has a high temperature and persistent cough, said he would still lead the "national fightback" against the virus from his flat above Number 11.

The 55-year-old noticed that he had mild symptoms on Thursday afternoon and received the test results at midnight, Downing Street said.

His pregnant partner Carrie Symonds is not with the PM, and is reportedly isolating alone in Camberwell, south London, with the couple's dog, Dilyn.

Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock have been working closely with the country's top medics, including England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

It is not known which close contacts have been tested, but Downing Street said the advice on social distancing had been observed in Number 10.

How coronavirus symptoms compare
(PA Graphics)

Sir Patrick tweeted that he has experienced no symptoms and has therefore not been tested.

Some scientists were critical of the fact the House of Commons has largely stayed "open for business", enabling the virus to spread.

Professor Susan Michie, director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, said: "Whilst the PM was telling people to stay at home and keep at least two metres apart from each other, the House of Commons was open for business and face-to-face parliamentary activities were carrying on.

"Given the transmission routes of touching contaminated surfaces and breathing in virus-laden droplets, it should not come as a surprise to hear that the PM and Health Secretary have tested positive for coronavirus.

"There are many reasons why those in leadership positions, including in Government, should practise what they preach."

In a video message posted to Twitter, Mr Johnson said: "I'm working from home and self-isolating and that's entirely the right thing to do.

"But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.

"I want to thank everybody involved and, of course, our amazing NHS staff."

Mr Hancock tweeted: "Fortunately for me the symptoms so far have been very mild so I've been able to carry on with the work driving forward the UK response."

A spokesman for the Chancellor said Rishi Sunak has not had any symptoms and therefore has not been tested for coronavirus and is not self-isolating.

Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has not been tested for coronavirus as he has not displayed symptoms of the virus, his wife Sarah Vine said on Twitter.

Meanwhile Radd Seiger, spokesman for the family of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn, said Mr Hancock "irresponsibly failed to socially distance himself" when they met him on March 18.

Mr Seiger claimed the Health Secretary had hugged the family and shaken his hand as they met at the Department for Health and Social Care to discuss the teenager's death.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Prince of Wales was also suffering "mild symptoms" of Covid-19.

On Thursday night Charles was seen for the first time since testing positive.

Clarence House posted a video in its Instagram Stories of heir to the throne Charles joining in with the round of applause for the NHS from Birkhall, his private home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Elsewhere:

– Firefighters have agreed to deliver food and medicine, drive ambulances and retrieve bodies if mass casualties arise.

– Police began fining people breaching coronavirus lockdown rules, less than 24 hours after new laws were brought into force.

– GP Habib Zaidi, 76, who died at Southend Hospital in Essex, is feared to have become the first doctor in the UK to have died after contracting coronavirus.

– Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has apologised for "ill-judged and poorly timed" emails after the businessman faced fierce criticism when he tried to claim Sports Direct was an essential operator for keeping the nation fit.

– UK supermarkets said they will use a Government database of 1.5 million vulnerable shoppers to help prioritise delivery slots.

So me and Boris Johnson having the virus is pure coincidence- honest 😳

— Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) March 27, 2020

– Labour deputy leadership candidate Angela Rayner announced on Twitter that she is self-isolating after suffering symptoms, while Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, is also self-isolating with symptoms.

– As of 1pm on Thursday, 27 prisoners had tested positive for coronavirus in 14 prisons.

– Fewer than half of acute and emergency staff are satisfied with the personal protective equipment supplied to them, a snapshot survey shows.

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wished Mr Johnson a "speedy recovery" and said he hoped the PM's "family are safe and healthy".

He added: "Coronavirus can and does affect anyone. Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else."

On Thursday night Mr Johnson applauded the NHS outside Downing Street a couple of metres away from the Chancellor.

Applause for the NHS in Downing Street
Applause for the NHS in Downing Street on Thursday night (Aaron Chown/PA)

The meeting of his Cabinet took place remotely on Tuesday with ministers using using Zoom video conferencing.

Downing Street has previously confirmed that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would stand in if Mr Johnson was too unwell to continue.

If Mr Raab was also ill, the PM has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen last saw Mr Johnson just over two weeks ago on March 11.

He said: "Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health."

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