The UK coronavirus threat level has been raised to high by the government after the number of patients topped 1,000.
The NHS has confirmed 10 more people infected with coronavirus have died, bringing the country’s death toll to 21.
The total number of people diagnosed with the deadly condition stands at 1,140.
Professor Chris Whitty confirmed the sad news just after 2pm this afternoon.
The 10 patients were being cared for in Buckinghamshire, Sandwell & West Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Barts, London, north Middlesex and Chester.
Two patients passed away at Barts Health NHS Trust, one at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, one at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
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Another person lost their life at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, one at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, one at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
A further three more patients died at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, London North West University and Countess of Chester Hospital Healthcare NHS Trust.
He said all 10 people were in the "at risk" group which the government has said is elderly people or individuals with underlying health conditions.
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Prof Whitty said: "I am sorry to confirm 10 further patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 in England have died.
"All 10 individuals were in the at risk groups. I understand this increase in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 will be a cause for concern for many.
"The public should know every measure we are taking is seeking to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.
"Every single one of us has a role to play in achieving this. If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, please stay at home for seven days.
"I also encourage everyone to be washing their hands for 20 seconds regularly.
"I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends who have received this difficult news. I ask that their privacy is respected at this time."
A Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at Wycombe Hospital has died.
“The patient was in his late 70s, was admitted with underlying health conditions and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
"The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family's privacy."
A Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust spokesman said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at City Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died.
"The patient, was in his mid 80s and had underlying health conditions.
"His family have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time."
- In the News
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