THE coronavirus death toll in the UK went past the grim milestone of 10,000 today as another 737 people lost their lives.
A total of 10,612 people have now died from the disease, according to official figures – a leap from Saturday’s total of 9,875 as the country remains in lockdown battling against the virus.
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New figures released today by the Department of Health revealed that there are now 84,279 confirmed cases of the virus across the UK.
As of 9am on 12 April, a total of 352,974 tests for the virus have been concluded, with 18,000 tests completed on 11 April.
Of the 737 to have most recently died, there were 42 patients aged between 30 and 98 who had no known underlying health conditions.
But the true death toll could be significantly higher, because the figure released only includes those who have died in hospital. The number of deaths was recorded at 5pm yesterday.
Speaking at today’s Government coronavirus press briefing, Heath Secretary Matt Hancock said passing the grim milestone of 10,000 deaths “marks a sombre day in the impact of this disease”.
He was later asked if it was still possible to keep the UK death toll below 20,000, which the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance previously described as a “good outcome”.
Mr Hancock said: “The future path of this pandemic in this country is determined by how people act.
“That’s why it’s so important that people follow the social-distancing guidelines.
“Predictions are not possible, precisely because they depend on the behaviour of the British people.”
On Friday, Britain’s coronavirus death toll jumped by 980 in 24 hours – making it the biggest rise yet and more deadly than Spain’s worst day of their outbreak (961).
Numbers dipped on Saturday and again today, but this could be down to a lag in reporting due to the Easter weekend.
Previous weekends have seen official numbers fall, before numbers start to climb again the following week.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said at today’s briefing that the UK is “somewhere in the middle” in global death comparisons, “tracking France and close to the Italian trend” but added that “it’s still early days”.