UK coronavirus cases jump to 2,626 as 676 more cases confirmed in last 24 hours

The UK now has 2,626 confirmed cases of coronavirus after 676 more cases were confirmed, in the biggest day-on-day increase yet.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:13 pm

The number of infected people is likely to be much higher, with health experts estimating that up to 55,000 people could be carrying the virus.

The total was announced after Scotland and Wales said they were closing all schools from Friday, and at least 72 people have died after being diagnosed with the virus.

Schools across the country are closing due to staff shortages, and dozens of events have been cancelled after the government advised residents to stay at home to help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

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Those at an increased risk of becoming ill are those over 70, those with diabetes, chronic respiratory heart, liver or kidney diseases, and those with neurological conditions.