The UK has seen its biggest daily rise in deaths from coronavirus, with a further 87 fatal cases including 21 in one London hospital trust alone.
The rise represents an almost 26% increase in 24 hours, taking the UK’s total death toll from 335 to 422.
The latest daily figures include 21 deaths at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. The trust runs Northwick Park hospital which declared a “critical incident” last week after running out of critical care beds. It asked nearby hospitals to look after patients as it could not cope with the Covid-19 patients it was receiving.
The 21 deaths at the trust were among 83 people to have died in England in the last 24 hours, taking England’s total to 386. They ranged in age from 33 to 103. All were in vulnerable groups including with underlying conditions, NHS England said.
The 33-year-old is believed to be the youngest victim in the UK so far. On Sunday the NHS suggested an 18-year-old had died from coronavirus in Coventry, but it has since emerged that the teenager had tested positive for the disease but died from an unrelated condition.
In a written statement, Prof Kiran Patel, chief medical officer for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said: “We can confirm that sadly a patient who was being treated for significant underlying health issues has passed away at University Hospital, Coventry. They had also tested for Covid-19 on the day before they died but this was not linked to their reason for dying.”
There have so far been 16 coronavirus deaths in Scotland, 17 in Wales including one more announced on Tuesday and three in Northern Ireland. Brenda Doherty said her 82 year-old mother, Ruth Burke, has become the fourth victim of the virus in Northern Ireland.
Recent deaths also include Marita Edwards, the first victim of hospital-acquired coronavirus in the UK. She died last Friday at Newport’s Royal Gwent hospital three weeks after going to the hospital for a routine gallbladder operation on 28 February.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the peak of the UK outbreak was expected “in a matter of a couple of months”. He also confirmed plans revealed in the Guardian to open a makeshift hospital at the ExCel exhibition centre in London to treat as many as 4,000 people.
“We will next week open a new hospital, a temporary hospital, the NHS Nightingale hospital, at the ExCel centre in London,” he said.