THE coronavirus death toll in UK today rose to 177 with 40 more deaths in 24 hours as London heads for a shutdown.
Eighteen of the deaths were recorded in the capital as it was revealed pubs, restaurants and other venues will be ordered to close as the killer bug continues to spread.
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Sadiq Khan today also urged Londoners to stop all non-essential use of public transport.
The jump in fatalities marks a 30 per cent rise in 24 hours from 144 deaths across the UK.
The patients killed by the bug were aged between 50 and 99, with all suffering underlying health conditions.
There was initially some confusion after Public Health England released seven of the deaths yesterday.
The new figures came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock today warned around 1.4million Brits could be told to self-isolate on Monday due to the bug.
Experts say that older people and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the deadly bug, which has infected at least 3,269 in the UK.
The Government is urging people to social distance – including steering clear of pubs and restaurants – in order to stop the spread of the bug.
But pictures have shown boozed-up Brits spilling out of clubs and bars in recent days.
It comes as:
- Boris Johnson is set to unveil a wage boost and tax cuts for workers hit by crisis
- Cases of Covid-19 deaths across the world hit 10,000
- A man became the first to be arrested in the UK for not self-isolating
- Alarming images emerged from an Italian hospital where patients are treated with bubble helmets
- China and other Asian countries are facing a second wave of deadly coronavirus
- New test will be made available to hundreds of thousands of people ASAP
- Brits STILL ignore calls to stay out of the pubs during the crisis
- Health secretary Matt Hancock warns of second coronavirus hotspot in the Midlands
Mr Hancock added: "These are some of the most difficult and challenging cases so we'll be getting in contact with them, but if people think that they are on this list and don't receive a communication from the NHS, then they also need to get in contact.
"So that is under way, the money was announced for it yesterday. A combination of money to the NHS and money to councils because they've got a very big part to play in keeping people safe."
Boris Johnson last night said British experts expect to start trials for a vaccine against Covid-19 within a month, although expectations are that a vaccine will take at least a year.
It comes as the Queen issued a rallying cry telling Brits to pull their weight in the fight against COVID-19 and avoid the pub and panic buying.
She said: "I am certain we are up to the challenge.
"Our history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one."
And a retired seaman who was pictured looking sadly at his shopping list when confronted by empty shelves today slammed selfish panic-buyers.
Anthony Glynn, 79, captured the nation's hearts when a photograph showing him sadly staring at his shopping list went viral online after the shelves had been stripped bare.
He said: "We are in the middle of a national crisis, but everybody is just out for themselves. I was livid when I was in Sainsbury’s because it shows you what a greedy society we have become."
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