The number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom has hit 1,950 – an increase of 407 since Monday
Health officials described it as the biggest single-day jump since the outbreak began. According to the department of health, the death toll has also risen to 71.
The true number of the virus infections is likely much higher than 1,950 as patients with mild symptoms are not being tested and other carriers may not be showing any symptoms, according to officials.
Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, had earlier said there could be as many as 55,000 coronavirus cases already in the UK, adding that at least 20,00 people may die from the illness.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised residents to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travels.
“We need people to start working from home where they possibly can and you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such venues,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Church of England has announced that public worship has been suspended until further notice to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
In a joint letter, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, archbishops of Canterbury and York respectively, said it was “necessary to put public services on hold.”
They added church buildings may remain open for prayer “where practical” and as long as worshippers observe social distancing recommendations.
They urged congregations to be in the forefront of providing practical care and support for the poorest and the most vulnerable during the crisis.
“Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,” the archbishops wrote.
“Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.
“We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support.
“Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it. Ensure the night shelters wherever possible are kept open.
“There are many very encouraging schemes happening right across our country in communities to focus on caring for the most vulnerable and do continue to play your part in those.
“Then by our service, and by our love, Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel – a hope that can counter fear and isolation – will spread across our land.”
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