UK Records 616 Coronavirus Hospital Deaths In 24 Hours, Bringing Total To 18,738

The latest figures were released on Thursday.

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The number of people who have died in UK hospitals after contracting coronavirus has risen by 616 in 24 hours.

It brings the total to 18,738.

Earlier today, England, Scotland and Wales had reported increases of 514, 58 and 17 further deaths respectively. Here’s a quick primer on why the nations’ devolved authorities don’t match the UK total, and how to understand them.

Live samples are held in a container during the opening of the new Covid-19 testing lab at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
Live samples are held in a container during the opening of the new Covid-19 testing lab at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
PA

Of the deaths recorded in England, 111 took place yesterday, with the remainder occurring earlier this week – 216 of them on Tuesday. A handful went back as far as March 25.

NHS England said the people who died were aged 31 to 100, with 16 having no known underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, a further 4,583 people tested positive, with 23,560 tests carried out – even though the Department of Health and Social Care revealed on Thursday that testing capacity had reached 48,273.

The government puts the huge number of unused tests down to the fact some of the testing sites are inaccessible to people, something it says it is working on with 28 drive-through testing centres. The goal is to hit 50 by the end of the month.