The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 456 as of 11 March, the largest single day rise since the virus was reported in the UK.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, there have been 83 more cases since Tuesday, 10 March. Six patients with coronavirus have died in hospitals in the UK. The increase comes as health minister Nadine Dorries, responsible for mental health, has confirmed that she has tested positive for the virus, and is self isolating.
‘Thanks for so many good wishes. It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now,’ said Ms Dorries.
‘More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today. She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.’
The news comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged £5bn in an emergency response fund to support the NHS and other public services during the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, NHS England plans to expand the number of people it can test in a day to 10,000, up from 1500. Confirmation of positive test results will also be sped up with most people receiving them within 24 hours.
‘The NHS is ramping up the number of testing centres across the country, to help people get care quickly or have their mind put at ease,’ said Professor Dame Sue Hill, NHS chief scientific officer.
‘England’s NHS has world-leading expertise and every hospital across the country, and the healthcare professionals who run them, are now actively planning to respond flexibly to manage new demand. The public can help us to help the country to stay safe by practicing good hygiene and washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds.’