Britain recorded more than 100 coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time on Thursday, with 115 people who tested positive for the virus dying.
“As of 5pm (1700 GMT) on 25 March 2020, 578 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died,” said the official government website, up from 463 on Wednesday.
A total of 11,658 cases have now been confirmed in Britain, a daily increase of more than 2,000.
The outbreak is concentrated in London, with the head of an organisation representing bosses in the state-run National Health Service warning on Thursday that hospitals in the capital were being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, told BBC radio that hospitals in the British capital have seen an “explosion of demand… in seriously ill patients”, likening it to a “continuous tsunami”, with numbers predicted to surge in the next fortnight.