Latest updates on coronaviruses, as figures suggest more than 1.7 million Britons may already be infected

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NHS figures suggest that more than 1.7 million Britons may already have contracted a coronavirus.

Since March 18, a total of 1,496,651 people have reported only Covid-19 compliant symptoms, while almost a quarter of a million have been assessed as potential patients via 111 and 999 calls.

The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson lamented the loss of life while the UK recorded a record increase in deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government said on Wednesday that the death toll rose by 563 to a total of 2,352 at 4 p.m. on March 31.

“Let’s be sure it was a sad, sad day,” said Johnson in a video message posted on Twitter.

At yesterday’s press conference, business secretary Alok Sharma said people must continue to follow government guidelines rigorously and stay at home.

He said: “People across the country will understand why we put these restrictions in place and the Prime Minister has been very clear that they were in place for an initial period of three weeks and we will consider them.

“But what is also very important is that if we stop them too quickly, it is possible that the massive efforts people have made across the country will be wasted and we could potentially see a dangerous second peak. “

He urged people to continue to strictly follow government directives.

Follow all of today’s updates in our live blog below. Scroll down to see the last one.

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