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Coronavirus: Biggest daily rise as UK cases reach 456

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has now reached 456, after the biggest rise in a single day.

The Department of Health confirmed there had been 83 more cases since Tuesday. Six patients with coronavirus have died in hospitals in the UK.

It comes as NHS England plans to expand the number of people it can test in a day to 10,000, up from 1,500.

Confirmation of positive test results will also be sped up with most people receiving them within 24 hours.

The latest person to die with the virus in the UK was a man in his early 80s who had underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, a 53-year-old British woman has become the first person with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, to die in Indonesia, according to local media reports.

It is not clear whether the woman – who was reportedly critically ill with multiple health conditions – died due to the virus.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, so far 27,476 people have been tested in the UK.

The figures show 387 of the confirmed cases are in England, 36 are in Scotland, 18 are in Northern Ireland and 15 are in Wales.

Of the cases in England, London has the highest number, with 104. South-east England is the next highest infected area, with 60 cases, followed by south-west England with 44 cases.

Earlier, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the Budget and pledged the NHS would get “whatever resources it needs” during the crisis.

He promised a “temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme” to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Mr Sunak also said the government would rebate firms with up to 250 people for the cost of statutory sick pay, and people who were self-employed and fell sick would be eligible for benefits from day one.

The Foreign Office has issued a travel update for British nationals in Italy, urging all remaining tourists to contact their airline operators and return back to the UK.

People were still able to leave Italy without restrictions and airports were still open, the Foreign Office added.

Advice to tourists in Italy

Italy is the European country worst-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with the whole of the country currently in national lockdown.

Earlier this week, tourist Hannah Butcher from Newbury who was in Rome said it was “the weirdest holiday” she had ever been on, with one-in one-out rules to get into shops and families having to sit apart in restaurants.

The UK is currently in the “contain” phase of its four-part plan to deal with coronavirus. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to give a statement to MPs later.

In other developments:

  • The chief executive of NHS England Sir Simon Stevens announced plans to invite “up to 18,000 third year undergraduate nurses to help out on the frontline”
  • Uber has said any driver or delivery person with coronavirus will receive “financial assistance for up to 14 days” – although it is not clear how much
  • Health minister and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has tested positive for the virus. A Labour MP and a constituent who came in to contact with her are self-isolating and the building where she held her constituency surgery is being deep cleaned
  • Manchester City’s Premier League match against Arsenal on Wednesday has been postponed as several Arsenal players are in self-isolation after coming into contact with Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who tested positive for the virus

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