Britain reports 938 COVID-19 deaths in one day


Agency Reporter

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “improving” in intensive care, the British government said on Wednesday, as it reported a new daily record of 938 deaths linked to novel coronavirus infections.

Johnson was moved to intensive care late Monday, following his admission to hospital on Sunday for tests after he experienced “persistent symptoms” of the coronavirus. He reported his infection with the virus on March 27.

“The latest from the hospital is that the prime minister remains in intensive care, where his condition is improving,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told reporters.

“I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team,” Sunak added.

Johnson was still receiving “standard oxygen treatment” but was breathing without any other assistance, a Downing Street spokesman said earlier.

The daily high of 938 deaths took Britain’s total to more than 7,000.

The health ministry said the total of confirmed infections rose to nearly 61,000 from 282,000 people tested, but government experts estimated that many hundreds of thousands of people were infected.

Many health experts have criticised the government’s slow response to the crisis, the low level of testing for the virus and the poor provision of intensive care beds, ventilators and protective equipment.

In London, buses began introducing stricter measures to protect drivers and other staff from possible infection with the coronavirus yesterday, following the death of at least nine drivers in the city.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city would introduce measures including protective screens for drivers, enhanced cleaning, restricting passengers to boarding only through middle doors and increasing social distancing.

The nine drivers were among 14 London transport staff who died after becoming infected with coronavirus.

Trade union Unite, which represents 20,000 London bus staff, said the new measures would “reduce the risk” but called for more protection.

Many Londoners are working from home or not working during Britain’s near-lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But others, including construction workers, are using the city’s reduced transport service to commute to work, meaning some buses and underground trains are still crowded.

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