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UK Coronavirus Death Toll Reaches 2,921

UK Coronavirus Death Toll Reaches 2,921

The UK coronavirus death toll has now reached 2,921, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed. This figure is up by 569 from 2,352 the day before.

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As of 9am on 2 April, a total of 163,194 people have been tested - of which 33,718 tested positive.

Yesterday, the government announced that testing people for the virus is now the 'top priority'.

Speaking during the daily press briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said ramping up the number of tests was vital in combating the epidemic, adding that the aim was to reach 25,000 tests a day.

Responding to a question over the need for more tests, Mr Sharma said: "Increasing testing capacity is absolutely the government's top priority. We are now at 10,000 tests a day.

"In terms of PPE [personal protective equipment], 390 million products have been distributed."

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UK Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 20,000
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Medical staff taking samples at an NHS drive-through testing facility at Chessington World of Adventures, Greater London. Credit: PA
Medical staff taking samples at an NHS drive-through testing facility at Chessington World of Adventures, Greater London. Credit: PA

Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, echoed Sharma's words by saying that 'patients are getting the tests they need', and that there was 'also some spare capacity in that for testing the most urgent healthcare workers'.

She added that a 'relatively small' number of tests had been carried out on NHS staff, but that there was currently the capacity for as many as 3,000 tests a day, with those who have come into contact with the sickest patients tested first.

On Wednesday 31 March, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove also told the nation that thousands of ventilators would be available to the NHS from 'next week'.

Michael Gove. Credit: PA
Michael Gove. Credit: PA

In the briefing, Gove said: "As well as increasing the number of staff on the front line and the tests which protect them, we must also increase the capacity to provide oxygen to those worst affected by the disease.

"We have just over 8,000 ventilators deployed in NHS hospitals now, this number has increased since the epidemic began thanks to the hard work of NHS professions. But we need more.

"That's why we are buying more ventilators from abroad - including from EU nations. That's also why we're developing new sources of supply at home. Before the epidemic struck we had very little domestic manufacture of ventilators.

"But now, thanks to the dedication of existing medical supply companies and the ingenuity of our manufacturing base, we have existing models being produced in significantly greater numbers."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news, News

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]