The UK has announced 936 more deaths from the coronavirus today, taking the total number of fatalities to 7,095.
NHS England has confirmed 828 more people have died in its hospitals, aged between 22 and 103 years old.
Scotland, where 77 more deaths have been confirmed, also diagnosed a further 336 infections in the past 24 hours.
And Public Health Wales announced 284 more citizens had tested positive and 33 deaths had been reported. Five more deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland.
The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus across the UK currently adds up to more than 55,000, but the true scale of the outbreak is unknown.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, is standing in for Boris Johnson and said it is too soon to consider ending the UK’s lockdown and that the country must keep its foot on the pedal
When the death tolls of all four UK countries are combined the total number of fatalities is 7,172.
But because the statistics are recorded differently in each nation, numbers announced by the Department of Health each day are lower.
The Department’s all-UK roundup statistics are expected later this afternoon.
Experts warn that people should take the daily death tolls announced by governments as a guide rather than a concrete number for each day.
Many of the fatalities announced each afternoon happened days or weeks ago, and many of the people who have actually died in the past 24 hours will not be counted in the numbers for days or weeks to come.
University of Oxford’s Professor Jim Naismith said yesterday: ‘The current methods of reporting… has become unhelpful and distracting in evaluating the progress of the pandemic.
‘The swings in numbers that we are seeing are emotionally draining; hope one day and despair the next.’
He said the numbers of new positive tests and hospitalisations were a more accurate picture of the day-by-day situation, because there is no time delay on those.
A total 704 new cases were diagnosed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours. England’s statistics, which account for the bulk of the numbers for Britain, will be published later this afternoon.
In recent days they have been reasons to be cheerful, with the 3,634 cases diagnosed yesterday the lowest for a week. For the past seven days the number has remained relatively stable at around 4,000 per day.
Today’s statistics come as Downing Street confirmed that the Government will not consider bringing an end to the UK’s lockdown next week.
Next Monday will mark three weeks since Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the entire country to stay at home.
Chief scientific adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, said last night that official statistics were starting to show ‘the beginning of change’ for Britain but it would still be at least a week until a clear picture of the epidemic emerged.