Coronavirus latest UK figures: COVID-19 cases soar to 2,626 with 72 deaths

18 March 2020, 14:33 | Updated: 18 March 2020, 14:35

Coronavirus cases have risen in the UK
Coronavirus cases have risen in the UK. Picture: Getty Images

The latest figures of coronavirus cases in the UK have been revealed.

Coronavirus cases jumped to 2,626 in Britain today which is the biggest daily increase so far.

676 new cases have been recorded in 24 hours, while 72 have now died from the bug.

This comes after it was revealed that the testing for Covid-19 is being stepped up a notch - with 25,000 patients being checked every day.

The NHS and Public Health England have already increased tests to 7,500 a day, up from 5,000 a week ago, and will be increased further to 10,000 next week.

Coronavirus numbers in the uk revealed
Coronavirus numbers in the uk revealed. Picture: Getty Images

Within four weeks, some 25,000 tests a day will be carried out.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson will be holding another press conference today where he expected to make a decision over school closures in England.

Scotland and Wales have already announced their schools would be closed by the end of the week.

This comes after Boris announced drastic new measures in an attempt to stop the impact of the bug on the economy.

Yesterday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed that those struggling as a result of COVID-19 pandemic would not have to pay their mortgages for 12 weeks.

Read More: Martin Lewis issues important warning on mortgages, sick pay and holidays amid coronavirus outbreak

Mr Sunak said ‘people won’t have to pay a penny to mortgage costs while they get back on their feet’, adding that more measures would be announced later this week.

He continued: “In the coming days I will go much further to support people’s financial security.

“In particular, I will work with trade unions and business groups to urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people’s jobs and incomes through this period.

“We have never faced an economic fight like this one but we are prepared, we will get through this and we will do whatever it takes."

Read More: Coronavirus latest: How many cases of COVID-19 are in the UK and how many people have died?

The chancellor also announced other economic policies, including £330billion of loans and guarantees for businesses and a cash grant of up to £25,000 for businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.