The UK’s coronavirus death toll has today jumped to 10 after health chiefs announced 140 more patients had been infected in Britain’s biggest daily increase yet – taking the infection toll to almost 600.
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said a patient in their 70s being treated for underlying health conditions had died after testing positive for Covid-19.
And the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said an elderly patient being treated for a number of serious underlying health conditions, had also died.
Earlier, a 53-year-old British woman was reported to have died from Covid-19 in Indonesia.
She was ill with other health conditions, including diabetes and lung disease, the Indonesian government said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Wednesday evening that Parliament will be kept open, adding that while he understood people’s worries about the deadly bug, “we will get through this together”.
He also said an emergency Bill we will put before the Commons next week on measures to tackle coronavirus.
London remains the most affected region with 104 cases, while the South East and South West of England have 60 and 44 positive tests respectively.
Northern Ireland is the least hit area in the UK, with 18 cases.
Eight people have now died of the disease in Britain.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) today declared the outbreak a global pandemic as 118,000 people have been diagnosed with the killer bug across 114 countries.
More than 4,300 people have died – around 3,000 of them in China – after contracting COVID-19 across the globe.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the medical body has “rung the alarm bell loud and clear”.
He said: “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
“We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”