World

Coronavirus: UK records exponential rise in deaths, Minister laments “shocking” toll

Reuters LONDON | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

A file photo of Michael Gove   -  REUTERS

Over 1,000 people have died from coronavirus on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27 per cent in the space of a day, according to new figures on Tuesday that a senior cabinet minister described as shocking and disturbing.

The government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals from coronavirus as of 4 PM (local time) on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet.

“The increase in the number of deaths is deeply shocking, disturbing (and) moving,” Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said at a news conference, adding that it was not possible to predict when fatalities would peak. “It depends on the actions of all of us,” he added. “We can delay that peak, we can flatten the curve through our own particular actions.”

Britain initially took a gradual approach to containing the virus compared with European countries such as Italy.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed stringent controls after projections showed a quarter of a million people could die. Johnson has since become the first leader of a major power to announce a positive test result for coronavirus.

Britain lags Italy, Spain and France in terms of the number of deaths, but they are still doubling around every 3.5 days.

Confirmed cases up 14 per cent

While that is similar to the trajectory of Italy — the world’s worst-hit country — when it was reporting similar numbers of deaths just over two weeks ago, British officials said on Tuesday they saw tentative reasons for optimism.

Official figures showed confirmed cases rose 14 per cent between Monday and Tuesday to 25,150 as of Tuesday at 8 AM (local time), the third day of increases around that rate - slowing from around 22-24 per cent last Thursday and Friday.

“We're not out of the woods, we're very much in the woods, and it's really important that we keep complying with those instructions,” said Stephen Powis, director of the National Health Service in England.

“But as you can see, the number of infections is not rising as rapidly as it was. So, green shoots, but only green shoots, and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal.”

The government also announced the first medical ventilators which Britain has recently ordered from businesses will be ready this weekend and available to the health service next week.

Published on April 01, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.