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Coronavirus: UK records 980 deaths in one day as PM Johnson’s condition ‘continues to improve’

The UK reported on Friday that 980 people died of COVID-19 in hospital in one day, one of the highest daily death tolls in any European country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, 8,958 people have died of COVID-19 in the UK, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday.

“Behind each one is a name, a loss and a family that will never be the same,” Hancock said.

The condition of British PM Boris Johnson, in hospital with coronavirus, “continues to improve”, the Health Secretary said.

“He wants to personally thank the staff at St Thomas’ Hospital for the incredible care he’s received,” Hancock said, adding that the NHS gave Johnson “the very best care possible”.

“The NHS is there for all of us in this country,” he said.

Dr Jenny Harries, the UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said “the curve is bending” but added: “It is impossible to say yet that we’ve peaked”.

The World Health Organization is set to give a briefing as the number of people across the world infected with the coronavirus topped 1.6 million on Friday with more than 95,000 fatalities.

As Europe goes into Easter weekend, warnings have been stepped up in countries such as France, Spain and the UK for people to respect lockdowns, despite hot weather that might tempt them outside.