UK coronavirus cases rise to 133,495 as another 4,451 catch the deadly bug – The Sun


CORONAVIRUS cases continue to rise in the UK after a further 4,451 infections were recorded today.

It brings the total number of positive cases recorded in Britain to 133,495 – up from 129,044 yesterday.

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The Department of Health (D.O.H) confirmed today that of those who have tested positive for the deadly bug, 18,100 have died.

In a statement, the D.O.H said: "As of 9am 22 April, 559,935 tests have concluded, with 22,814 tests carried out on 21 April.

"411,192 people have been tested, of whom 133,495 have tested positive.

"As of 5pm on 21 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 18,100 have died."

The infection rate is largely determined by the number of tests carried out.

The spike in UK cases is greater than the rise recorded yesterday, which saw another 4,301 infected.

It is smaller, however, than the seven days before, when daily cases rose between roughly 4,650 and 5,800 each day.

In Scotland, 9,038 cases have been confirmed, while in Wales, the figures are slightly lower at 8,124.

It comes as:

  • NHS workers need to be re-tested after minister admits early tests were inaccurate
  • RAF plane picks up '84 tonnes' of PPE from Turkey
  • Patients turned away from Nightingale hospital because of lack of nurses
  • Brits to be told to wear face masks in public
  • New stats suggest UK deaths could be 40% higher than reported
  • Brits in their 50s and 60s should isolate like older people, experts warn
  • 2,000 people may have died of covid-19 in care homes over Easter weekend

'WE ARE AT A PEAK'

Today, health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs he was confident the country had reached the peak of the virus.

He stressed, however, that continued social distancing was needed to bring the new number of cases down.

Speaking during today's Commons session, he said: "We have high confidence that we are at a peak in this disease, but obviously we need to see that come down. It's a question of degree.

"The fewer new cases, the more effective test, track and trace are as a way of keeping the disease down, and therefore the more of the social distancing measures can be lifted."

The government has pledged to increase its testing capacity over the next few weeks.

Mr Hancock said: "We are ramping up our testing capacity and our capacity for contact tracing in a matter of weeks."

CONTACT TRACING

Scientific experts and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt have pressed the Government for more details on mass testing and contact tracing, which is a key route out of the UK lockdown.

By finding those who are infected with coronavirus and tracing their contacts – and isolating both – the spread of Covid-19 can be slowed until a vaccine is found.

Mr Hancock told MPs the expansion of testing capacity "was ahead of plans" and the number of people eligible for testing was being expanded.

He added: "As we have reached the peak, and as we bring the number of new cases down, so we will introduce contact tracing at large scale."

It comes as members of the public are to be told to wear face masks at work and on public transport after scientists told ministers they could help stop the spread of the virus.

Experts have passed on research showing that coverings could help to stop "asymptomatic people" – those who are infected but not showing symptoms – from passing on the disease.

The guidance is set to say that those who can't stay more than 2m apart at work and on buses and trains should wear a cloth face mask, such as a homemade mask, scarf or other non-surgical covering to help slow the spread of the virus.


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