UK coronavirus death toll rises to 28,734 as further 288 people die

The UK’s official coronavirus death toll has risen to 28,734, after a further 288 people died, the Health Secretary has confirmed.

Speaking during today’s daily press conference, Matt Hancock stated that 1,291,000 tests had been completed in the UK so-far, with 85,186 carried out on Sunday. He noted that there are 13,258 people currently being treated in hospitals for Covid-19, while there are 3,413 critical beds spare.

He said that more 190,584 people have now tested positive for coronavirus, which is an increase of 3,985.

The figures follow a further 229 deaths in hospitals recorded today, the lowest daily increase since March 29. However, death figures often drop on Monday due to delays in fatalities being registered over the weekend.

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The figure released by the government is different to the the hospital number, as it now also includes deaths in care homes and the community. It puts the UK among the worst-hit countries from coronavirus in the world.

The US currently has the highest official death toll, after more than 68,000 died across the country. Italy is the worst-hit European country, with 28,884 recorded deaths, while the UK has overtaken Spain and France, where 25,100 and 24,729 people have died.

Of the hospital deaths, England recorded another 204 deaths, Wales another 14, Scotland another five and Northern Ireland another six.

Earlier today, a leaked draft of government plans to lift the UK out of lockdown revealed workers could be kept two-metres apart as they return to their jobs, while hot-desking could be banned in offices.

The proposals, forged by Business Secretary Alok Sharma and cabinet office minister Michael Gove and seen by Buzzfeed News, also suggested an end to sharing pens between colleagues and protective screening used to ensure people maintain their distance.

They also instruct those who can work from home tocontinue to do so wherever possible. Employers will be told to ‘do everything they reasonably can to reduce risk’ if they can’t ensure a distance of two metres of all times.

‘Extremely vulnerable’ people such as those with serious medical conditions and certain cancers will still not be able to carry out any work that can’t be done at home.

Employers are also asked to take extra steps to protect other vulnerable members of staff from potential contamination risks.

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