Another 823 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in UK hospitals according to the latest daily figures, bringing the total number of deaths to 17,337.
It is a sharp rise on the 449 deaths recorded in the previous one day period, and one of the worst figures to date. However this could be due to a lag in reporting the deaths that occurred over the weekend, meaning the numbers on Tuesday or Wednesday could be inflated.
The Government has said the number of new infections and deaths needs to consistently fall for the lockdown to be lifted in some form.
However, these Government figures have come under increased scrutiny after the New Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 18,516 people died of all causes in England and Wales in the week ending 10 April, marking the highest number of fatalities for this time of year on modern record.
The ONS figures also show there were 12,516 deaths involving Covid-19 in England up to 10 April (and which were registered up to 18 April), compared with 10,260 deaths in hospitals in England for the same period, reported by NHS England.
The ONS total is 22 per cent higher than the total published by NHS England as it encompasses all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected cases, as well as deaths in the community.