Coronavirus deaths in UK rise by 621 in a day to 4,934 - including 29 patients with no underlying health conditions: Infections leap by 5,903 to 47,806 – the largest daily rise yet at 59 per cent – despite hopes that cases had begun to plateau
- Matt Hancock backtracked on threat to ban outdoor exercise if people do not comply with the lockdown
- Public Health England reported an extra 555 deaths in England, 12 in Wales and 7 in Northern Ireland
- Level of infections has risen sharply by almost 60 per cent, from 5,903 to 47,806 - the largest daily increase
- The Department of Health also said that, as of 9am on Sunday, a total of 195,524 people have been tested
Britain's coronavirus death toll has gone up by 621 to 4,934 - including 29 patients who did not have any underlying health conditions.
The patients were between 33 years and 103 years old, with 29 of them, aged between 35 and 95 years old, having no known underlying health conditions.
The level of infections has risen sharply by almost 60 per cent, from 5,903 to 47,806, dashing hopes the rate of people getting the disease was starting to level out.
Just days ago, Stephen Powis, the medical director of England, said there had been a 'bit of a plateau' in the number of people testing positive.
The Department of Health also said that, as of 9am on Sunday, a total of 195,524 people have been tested, up from 183,190 the previous day - pushing the amount of tests done daily to more than 12,000.
It comes amid concerns a huge backlog of potential patients awaiting their results could mean infections are far higher than is being reported.
If the backlog for processing the tests is too great, the rate of infections will remain at roughly the same level, with the services already pushed to the brink and only able to carry out a certain number of tests per day.
Matthew Lesh, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, told MailOnline: 'The UK numbers are masked by the inability of the laboratories.'
NHS England gave the breakdown by region of the 555 deaths of patients in England: - East of England 40 - London 174 - Midlands 74 - North East & Yorkshire 103 - North West 47 - South East 81 - South West 36.
Public Health England reported an extra 555 deaths in England, Public Health Wales recorded 12, and there have been 7 in Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said authorities there had recorded an additional two extra deaths in Scotland, up to 220, but said the number was based on a new way of counting deaths and is 'likely to be artificially low'.
It came as Matt Hancock this afternoon backtracked on a threat to ban outdoor exercise if people do not comply with the coronavirus lockdown.
The Health Secretary this morning blasted sunbathers for flouting the rules and warned the government would ban 'all forms' of public exercise if a 'small minority' refuse to stay at home.
However he later updated his comments while speaking at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference and said he did not want anyone to believe that a further crackdown was in the works.
Mr Hancock said the end of lockdown will be determined by 'how much people follow the rules on social distancing' and 'the more people follow the rules then the faster we will all be through it'.
He then issued a direct plea to people who are 'breaking the rules or are pushing the boundaries', telling them: 'You are risking your own life and the lives of others and you are making it harder for us all.'
He concluded: ‘We have included exercise as one of the things that you can leave your house to do because exercise is good for our physical and our mental health but please do not bend or break this rule.
‘We can’t rule out further steps but I don’t want anyone to think that any changes to the social distancing rules are imminent because the vast majority are following the rules.’
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson repeated the importance of staying at home this morning as he tweeted he knows it is 'tough' but it will mean 'saving lives'.
Mr Hancock and Mr Johnson's comments came after a south London park was shut indefinitely yesterday after 3,000 people visited 'despite clear advice' not to as green spaces and beaches across the UK filled up.
Mr Hancock previously told Sky News: 'It is quite unbelievable frankly to see that there are some people who are not following the advice.'
He added: 'Of course I understand how difficult this is but the problem is that when you go out it is not only that you might directly interact with somebody closer than two metres, it is also that you can spread the virus through touching something which somebody else then touches. You could pick it up that way.
'We are crystal clear in the guidance on what people should and shouldn't do. That guidance is backed up in law. It is not a request, it is a requirement in law and people need to follow it.'
Mr Hancock admitted this morning that hitting his promise of 100,000 coronavirus tests by the end of April will be 'hard' and that people involved in the efforts will have to 'put their shoulders to the wheel' to hit the target.
He also insisted Mr Johnson is 'okay' despite still being in coronavirus self-isolation, with the Health Secretary saying the PM 'has very much got his hand on the tiller' of the crisis.
Mr Hancock's comments came as:
- Health experts said the UK is now seven to 10 days away from the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Sadiq Khan hit out at commuters for failing to stay at home following the deaths of five London bus workers who tested positive for coronavirus.
- Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson's pregnant fiancee, said she had spent the last week in bed suffering coronavirus symptoms, but is 'on the mend'.
- Health chiefs fear more than 50 doctors could die 'if the PPE dries up and we have no choice but to treat our patients without the right equipment'.
- The Ministry of Justice said hundreds of risk-assessed prisoners within two months of their release date are to be temporarily released.
- The UK death toll from the virus rose by 708 - bringing the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths to 4,313 as of 5pm on Friday
- Matt Hancock today backtracked on a threat to ban all public exercise after people continued to break the coronavirus lockdown rules
In other developments Sadiq Khan has hit out at commuters who are refusing to stay at home following the deaths of five London bus workers who tested positive for Covid-19.
The mayor of the capital said he was 'absolutely devastated' following the coronavirus deaths.
He tweeted a statement saying that 'lives depend' on people following Government rules to stay at home unless travel is essential.
Mr Khan said: 'I have been clear that our incredible public transport staff – on the buses, tubes, trams and trains – are critical workers, making a heroic effort to allow our NHS staff to save more lives.
'But we need to play our part too and that means fewer Londoners using the public transport network.
'Please follow the rules. Stay at home and do not use public transport unless it is absolutely unavoidable.'
The nation will tonight hear from the Queen as the monarch delivers an address in which she will urge Britain to prove that this generation is 'as strong as any'.
There are fears the current warm weather could tempt people to disobey social distancing measures and the government will be hoping the Queen's address will persuade people to stick to the rules, especially as the sun shines.
Lambeth Council tweeted yesterday to say that Brockwell Park had been shut because of the 'unacceptable' behaviour of some people.
Mr Hancock today said ending lockdown measures 'depends on how people behave' as he urged everyone to stay at home but failed to set out a timeline for life to go back to normal.
He told Sky News: 'Every single person watching this programme can do their bit to get us out of this faster and they do their bit by following the social distancing rules.'
Labour's new leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party will back the government if it decides to ban public exercise.
He told the BBC: 'Yes, we would. We do have to take whatever steps are necessary and social distancing, staying indoors is really difficult for people… but we have got to get through this and every time people break the guidance from the government they put other people at risk.'
It came as it emerged that Mr Hancock and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are locked in a battle over when to lift the economically devastating lockdown.
Mr Sunak has made 'robust' representations to the Health Secretary, arguing that unless a path is mapped now for a swift return to normal economic activity it could cause lasting damage to the country.
Government critics of Mr Hancock argue his 'careerist' fear of being personally blamed for a collapse in the NHS is blinding him to the dangers of a protracted lockdown.
But allies of Mr Hancock hit back last night, saying: 'He is just doing his job, which is to protect the NHS.'
A formal decision about the extension of the strict social distancing rules cannot be made until Good Friday – the earliest point at which its effects would register on the infection figures.
However, with more than 700 extra deaths recorded yesterday, an extension for at least another three weeks after Easter is seen as a formality.
Mr Hancock today dismissed the claims regarding his relationship with Mr Sunak as he said: 'We are working very closely together and what matters is that we can get out of this as fast as possible and to do that we have to make sure that as many people as possible follow the rules so that we can slow the spread.'
The Queen will tonight deliver a televised message in which she will recognise the pain felt by many families living through this 'time of disruption'.
She will personally thank front-line NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles for their efforts, in what is expected to be a deeply personal message reflecting her experience in other difficult times.
The UK death toll yesterday rose by 708 - bringing the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths to 4,313 as of 5pm on Friday, up from 3,605 the day before. A five-year-old child was among the victims.
The Queen will say in her address to the country and Commonwealth: 'I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.
'And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.
'That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humoured resolve and of fellow feeling still characterise this country.'
Police pour water over couple's barbecue
Police in Sussex were forced to pour a helmet full of water over a couple's barbecue after they refused to follow the government's lockdown rules.
The pair started a barbecue on Hove beach yesterday.
Police confirmed a 31-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, both from Hove, are set to be summoned to court for breaching Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
On social media Sussex Police said they were disappointed that the couple showed 'disregard for public safety'.
A message on the Sussex Police Facebook page read: 'We can only express disappointment in the two people who showed disregard for public safety and started a BBQ on Hove beach today.
'The severity of this public health emergency means they will be summonsed to court for breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020.
'Sunday is set to be another pleasant day and we again appeal to everyone to continue show their support for our NHS and stay at home.'
She will acknowledge the 'grief' some have experienced, the 'financial difficulties' many face, and the 'enormous changes' the country is enduring, after almost two weeks of lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
With hundreds of thousands answering the call for NHS volunteers and others supporting vulnerable people in their communities, the monarch will say she hopes in the future everyone will be able to feel 'pride' in how they rose to the challenge.
Commenting on the difficulties facing the nation, the Queen, 93, will say: 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time.
'A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.'
In reference to the warm weather, the Queen will thank those who are following the official guidance to stay at home to protect the vulnerable.
The televised address will be a rare event, with the head of state only making three previous appearances during troubled times.
Speeches were broadcast after the Queen Mother's death in 2002, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales's funeral in 1997, and about the first Gulf War in 1991.
One in five doctors are off work because of coronavirus reveals shocking new survey as thousands of NHS staff wait to be tested despite pledge to check 100,000 people a day by the end of the month
One in five doctors in the UK are off work because of coronavirus, a shocking new survey has revealed.
The poll of more than 2,500 doctors found that 18 per cent are off work, despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying on Thursday that there is a 5.7 per cent absence rate among doctors.
The figures come just a day after Britain's death toll from the virus jumped to 708 in 24 hours, with a five-year-old child being among the 4,313 known to have died, out of 41,903 confirmed cases.
The poll, conducted by The Sunday Times and the Royal College of Physicians, found that the worst-hit areas for absences are central London and the northeast, where 30 per cent of doctors are off work.
One in three - 34 per cent - have been absent at some point during the coronavirus crisis.
The shocking figures will pile pressure on ministers to ensure that NHS staff are told whether or not they have the virus, with thousands still waiting to be tested despite a pledge to test 100,000 people a day by the end of April.
Professor Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, which represents 3,500 critical care medics, told The Sunday Times: 'I know there are departments where up to 50 per cent of their medical staff are unable to work because of this.'
An A&E doctor at a London hospital said staff were 'dropping like flies', while as many as 27 nurses from Southend Hospital's A&E department in Essex are said to have become ill.
The survey also found that nearly one in four doctors have struggled to get hold of sufficient or appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
This is despite claims from ministers that they have distributed millions of items.
At least eight NHS staff have already been killed by the virus, including three nurses, two of whom were mothers in their thirties.
The latest nurse to die, John Alagos, 23, collapsed and died at home after an exhausting 12-hour shift.
His mother, Gina Gustilo, 50, told The Mail on Sunday her son had not been wearing the right protective clothing at work.
He returned home on Friday following a night shift, after complaining of suffering a headache and high temperature throughout the night.
Ms Gustilo said her son's colleagues told her he was not wearing 'proper' protective clothing, adding: 'They wear PPE, but not totally protective of the mouth. They wear the normal masks.'
Richard Webber, of the College of Paramedics, said between 20 and 30 per cent of ambulance staff were off work either with Covid-19 symptoms or self-isolating.
Yesterday, Michael Gove said at a Downing Street press conference that just under 11,000 people were tested for the virus on Friday.
This is far short of the 100,000 figure which Health Secretary Matt Hancock had promised by the end of the month.
Britain's biotech scientists also broke their silence on Saturday to warn that they do not have enough equipment to fulfil Mr Hancock's pledge.
The 'frustrated' Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), which represents around 17,000 NHS lab scientists and staff, warned that Mr Hancock's plan would not work if things stay as they are.
The body said there is a lack of chemical reagents, test tubes and swabs, forcing its president Allan Wilson to warn that the Government's strategy is a 'bit of a muddle'.
It has forced Boris Johnson to compete with prime ministers and presidents around the world by personally calling major companies making test kits to try to secure more supply for the UK.
The IBMS said it could only increase testing capacity 'if we are given what we need' and that their current supply of materials was being 'tested to the limit'.
Lord Bath of Weymouth dies from coronavirus, aged 87: Eccentric owner of Longleat Safari Park known for his string of 'wifelets' and frescos of the Kama Sutra at his stately home passes away after a week in hospital
by Lara Keay for MailOnline
The eccentric owner of Longleat Safari Park Lord Bath has died aged 87 after testing positive for coronavirus.
Alexander Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath, died at the Royal United Hospital in Bath yesterday after being admitted on March 28.
He was the owner of Longleat Safari Park in Warminster, but was best known for his flamboyant dress sense and affairs with as many as 70 women, which he referred to as his 'wifelets'.
Viscount Weymouth gave many of his mistresses homes to live in within the grounds of his sprawling Wiltshire estate.
They caused upset when his son, Ceawllin Thynn, took over day-to-day management of Longleat in 2010 and eventually ended with him boycotting his son's wedding to Strictly Come Dancing star Emma Weymouth.
She paid tribute to him with an Instagram post earlier today, which read: 'It is with the deepest sadness that I share the news that my father in law, Lord Bath, has died of the age of 87.'
Viscount Weymouth was married to Anna Gael, with whom he had two children, but had affairs with 70 'wifelets' who he tried to put up around the Longleat estates.
He was a prolific amateur painter and studied art in Paris in the 1950s, where he is believed to have picked up his colourful taste in clothes.
The eccentric aristocrat also had frescoes done of the Kama Sutra so he could decorate his lavish home with erotic images.
In 2009 he was ranked 359th in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated net worth of £157million.
Lord Bath - then Viscount Weymouth - was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he was president of the famous Bullingdon Club.
He was involved in politics, and stood in the very first European parliamentary elections in 1979, representing the Wessex Regionalist Party which he helped to found.
After inheriting the Marquess seat in 1992, he then sat as a Liberal Democrat in the House of Lords but lost his seat when Labour reforms excluded most hereditary peers.
The flamboyant aristocrat was also a regular feature of the Animal Park television show about his estate.
TV presenter Ben Fogle paid tribute to Lord Bath on Twitter, posting a picture of him and his colleague Kate Humble with the safari park owner.
He wrote: 'Devastated to hear the sad passing of Lord Bath. We spent nearly two decades with the eccentric and colourful Lord at Longleat filming Animal Park.
'He will be missed. Sending my love and condolences to the family @Emmaweymouth1 and everyone at @Longleat.'
Kate Humble added: 'Very sad to hear about Lord Bath of @Longleat.
'Everyone will describe him as eccentric - & he was, gloriously so - but he was also king & fun - & we all need a bit of kindness & fun in our lives.'
Piers Morgan also paid tribute to him, describing him as 'one of Britain's most colourful characters'.
Longleat Safari Park said in a statement: 'It is with the deepest sadness we have to announce Lord Bath has died at the age of 87.
'The family would like to express their greatest appreciation for the dedicated team of nurses, doctors and other staff who cared so professionally and compassionately for Alexander in these extremely difficult times for everyone.'
Britons descending upon the nation's sun-soaked outdoor spaces today as the UK's coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Hundreds were seen flouting the social distancing guidelines set out by the Government to enjoy the warm weather sweeping the nation.
Despite the lockdown currently in place, people were seen taking to the country's many parks and beaches to enjoy the rising temperatures which are set to hit 20C.
Today revellers flocked to London's Battersea Park and Greenwich park to embrace the warm weather and defy the lockdown in place.
Meanwhile in the capital's Regent's Park, officers were stopping those who had chosen to leave their homes and flout Government rules.
Yesterday, thousands were seen descending upon a beach in Hove and London's Regent's Park to enjoy the sunny weather despite the social distancing guidelines in place.
South London's Brockwell park was also shut indefinitely after 3,000 people visited 'despite clear advice' as green spaces and beaches filled up across the UK in defiance of Boris Johnson's plea for Brits to stay indoors.
India told to 'prepare for an onslaught' as one of Asia's biggest slums suffers first coronavirus death as Russian doctor is detained for challenging Kremlin's figures and newborn babies are protected with face shields in Thailand
By Isabella Nikolic For MailOnline
Indian doctors have warned that the country must prepare to face an 'onslaught' of cases that could cripple the health system after it suffered its first death.
A 56-year-old man died due to Covid-19-related illness in Dharavi slum, in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The Dharavi slum is home to roughly one million people and its population density is 60 times greater than London - about 280,000 people per square kilometre.
Dr. Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of the Medanta-the Medicity hospital in Gurugram, near New Delhi, told CNN: 'Once we know that one slum has got it, and we lock it down, and we feed everybody and we keep them isolated for the next two weeks, we keep them well fed, it will work its way out.
'We will know the critical ones, and the ones who are mild, they can be quarantined at home, and the population at large can be monitored.'
Coronavirus cases in India nearly doubled in just four days, and its current total is 2,547. Some 62 people have died from the disease.
Doctors say they hope the lockdown will delay the peak of infections so hospitals have a fighting chance to treat incoming caseloads.
She dismissed their official number of coronavirus deaths and infections as lies. The Kremlin claim that 45 people have died from coronavirus in Russia, while 5,389 are infected.
Before her arrest, Dr Vasilieva said she had been called in for questioning over her comments, declaring that 'You can send whomever you want to get me — the Federal Security Service, the fire service — but the truth will not change.'
The real number of coronavirus cases, she said, 'is much higher than the authorities say.' She provided no evidence of any cover-up.
Her detention also increased skepticism about the readiness of Russia's health care system to cope with the pandemic.
In Thailand, newborn babies are being protected with miniature face visors while they are in hospital.
More than 1.2million cases, including 65,272 deaths, have been reported in 190 countries and territories around the world since the virus first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally.
Italy has the highest official death toll with 15,362 fatalities. Spain follows with 12,418, the United States is on 8,503, France 7,560 and Britain 4,313.
Spain saw its third consecutive daily decline in deaths from the virus, recording another 674 fatalities on Sunday.
A day earlier, Italy cheered after seeing its number of intensive care cases drop for the first time - from 4,068 on Friday to 3,994.
New York state, epicentre of the US outbreak, reports 630 new deaths in one day, its largest 24-hour spike.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio issues an emergency plea for volunteers, estimating the city will need 45,000 more medical personnel to fight the pandemic through April and May.
President Donald Trump warns Americans to brace for a 'very horrendous' number of coronavirus deaths in coming days.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates says it has doubled to $70billion a stimulus package to support the Gulf state's economy.
More than 300 Europeans on Saturday leave Bolivia for France on a charter flight.
Some 170 people, mostly French but including Swiss, Belgians, Germans and Britons, leave Moscow on Saturday on a repatriation flight organised by the French embassy.
Bolivia on Saturday repatriates 480 nationals who had been blocked at the Chilean border.
And 740 Algerians stuck in Turkey after their flights were cancelled are repatriated on Saturday.
Algeria has announced it will extend its night-time curfew - until now in place only in the capital and 13 of its 48 provinces - across the whole country.
Should we have been told to wear face masks after all?
Countries advising its people to wear face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus have had lower rates of infection, data shows.
While other measures will affect results such as testing and social distancing, it is clear that many Asian countries where face masks have been widely worn are suffering fewer cases of Covid-19.
Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea have all reported far fewer infections than countries in the West, despite being far closer to the source of the pandemic in China.
The countries where the pandemic is most pronounced, in Italy, Spain, the US, France and the UK, face masks have not been advised by their respective governments.
These countries have reported both higher infections and higher death rates than the Asian countries where face masks have been widely worn.