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The number of people who have died in hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales after contracting coronavirus has risen by 684 in 24 hours.
It brings the total to 19.506 deaths since the Covid-19 outbreak began.
Earlier today, the UK’s devolved authorities reported increases of 587 in England, 64 in Scotland and 110 in Wales. Data from Northern Ireland are yet to be published
Adding those figures together gives a total increase of 761, significantly higher than the official Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) tally. This may be due to a raft of late data from Wales, where a single health board today reported 84 deaths dating back as far as March 20 in one go. Here’s a quick primer on what all the different numbers mean and how to understand them.
Meanwhile, 28,532 tests were carried out between 9am on Thursday and 9am on Friday – the highest number since the UK began its testing programme, and a hike of some 6,000 compared with yesterday’s data. It is still some way off the target of 100,000 a day by the end of April, but the launch today of the government’s public testing programme is intended to bridge the gap. (It was an inauspicious beginning for the scheme, which ran out of postal tests within two minutes.)
The UK has now confirmed 143,464 positive cases of coronavirus.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story, published before the DHSC released its data, used the total of 761 further deaths obtained by adding together England, Scotland and Wales’s figures. This has now been replaced by the official UK-wide total from the government.