Coronavirus: Number of UK cases jumps to 590 in biggest daily increase as two more deaths confirmed

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has risen to (AP)

The total number of people with coronavirus in the UK has risen to 590, up from 456 on Wednesday.

Two more people were confirmed to have died from the virus in the UK on Thursday, bringing the total to 10, NHS England said.

A total of 29,174 people have been tested across the UK so far.

Boris Johnson is holding an emergency Cobra meeting on Thursday where ministers and leaders are expected to agree to move into the “delay” stage of the process.

Boris Johnson is tabling an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the Government's next steps in tackling coronavirus. (PA)

The next phase in the government’s plan to tackle COVID-19 could see mass gatherings banned across the whole of the UK.

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Moving to delay would mean social distancing measures could be brought in, such as restricting public gatherings and issuing more widespread advice to work from home.

A map showing the number of Coronavirus cases in Europe. (PA)

Downing Street said it was taking a UK-wide approach, indicating that Northern Ireland would not be following the steps taken in Ireland.

Ireland has closed all schools, colleges and childcare facilities.

“We have been in regular dialogue with Irish counterparts,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

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“In terms of our own response, we have said that we want it to be a UK-wide response and we have been working with the four chief medical officers and devolved administrations.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would ban mass gatherings of 500 people or more in Scotland to combat the spread of COVID-19. (PA)

Earlier on Thursday, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will cancel gatherings of more than 500 people in a bid to delay the virus.

The first minister said she would be advising cancellations to start from Monday.

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She told the Scottish parliament: “Mass gatherings are required to be policed, they require to have emergency ambulance cover, they require the services of our voluntary health services, and at a time when we need to be reducing the pressures on these front-line workers in order to free them up on the significant challenge that lies ahead, I do think it is inappropriate that we continue as normal.”

Sturgeon said any decision on whether to close schools has not yet been made, in light of the anticipated move from the contain phase amid the coronavirus outbreak, to the delay phase.

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