Coronavirus live blog: latest updates as British national with Covid-19 dies on cruise ship

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 8:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 11:38 am

Scroll down and read our coronavirus live blog as it happens.

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Almost-empty shelves where pasta would normally be stocked are pictured inside a supermarket store in north London (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image: WHO)

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

Coronavirus live blog, April 1

Last updated: Wednesday, 01 April, 2020, 13:42

Alok Sharma to head daily press briefing

Business Secretary Alok Sharma will chair today's daily press briefing in the place of the Prime Minister who is currently self-isolating.

2,000 NHS staff tested

Just 2,000 frontline NHS England staff have been tested for coronavirus out of around 1.2 million people who work for NHS England.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: "In terms of NHS frontline staff who have been tested overall, it's now over 2,000 and staff will be getting the results fed back to them over the next few days."

He later added: "We're very clear that we want more testing to be carried out, and that we are working with NHS England, Public Health England and others to ensure that happens."

Some more on those numbers from the Department of Health.

The jump in coronavirus-related deaths in the UK from 1,789 to 2,352 is an increase of 563, the highest day-on-day rise since the outbreak began.

The total is 31% higher than yesterday.

UK death toll rises by over 500

Number 10: death of 13-year-old a tragedy

Downing Street has described the death of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab from the coronavirus as a "tragedy".

The teenager from Brixton, south London, died in King's College Hospital in the early hours of Monday, after having tested positive for Covid-19.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The case is obviously a tragedy and the Prime Minister's thoughts are with the family."

The spokesman declined to comment on reports that his family were not allowed to be at his hospital bedside.

Premier League footballer unable to breathe because of coronavirus

Testing capactiy stands at 12,750

Downing Street said the current coronavirus testing capacity stands at 12,750 - but only 8,630 tests were carried out on Monday.

The PM's spokesman said: "In terms of testing, as you know the NHS and Public Health England are working to increase the capacity.

"Current testing capacity stands at 12,750. On Monday March 30, 8,630 UK tests were carried out.

"A clear instruction has been sent to all NHS hospital trusts that where there is capacity available it should be used on testing frontline staff and we would hope to see that happening."

All Edinburgh festivals have been cancelled

Fergus Linehan, festival director, Edinburgh International Festival, said: "We are hugely disappointed to announce this cancellation but given the current outlook we believe it is the correct decision.

"The Edinburgh International Festival was born out of adversity - an urgent need to reconnect and rebuild. The current crisis presents all at the festival with a similar sense of urgency. Work begins straight away on a 2021 festival season that will boost both our spirits and our economy."

British national dies on cruise ship

A British national is among four people to have died on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship embroiled in a bitter dispute over plans to disembark passengers in the US, according to Press Association.

In what is being described as an unfolding humanitarian crisis, so far two of the four people to have died on the cruise ship Zaandam have been confirmed to have had Covid-19, with nine people on board testing positive and 189 reporting flu-like symptoms.

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