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UK coronavirus death toll rises to 3,605, up 23% in a day

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom death toll from the coronavirus rose by 684 to 3,605 as of 1600 GMT on April 2, up 23% on the previous day.

As of 9am 3 April, a total of 173,784 people have been tested of which 38,168 were positive.

Stephen Powis, the national medical director of National Health Service England, said at a Downing Street briefing on Thursday that a high death rate would continue to be seen for “a few weeks yet”.

Powis also said there was some early academic evidence that the transmission rate in the community may have fallen below 1.

British government scientists say that the United Kingdom would be doing well if it kept the coronavirus death toll below 20,000.

The British government’s worst case scenario envisages a coronavirus death toll of 50,000 if self-isolation is not fully adhered to, but the United Kingdom is not right now on course for a toll of that scale, a source familiar with the government’s emergency discussions told Reuters.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, the worst day for deaths is projected to be April 12, which this year is Easter Sunday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday he would not steer away from reports which said April 12 would be the peak.

Reporting by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/UKDomesticNews/~3/MApwulf1LUs/uk-coronavirus-death-toll-rises-to-3605-up-23-in-a-day-idUKKBN21L1ZU

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