CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have jumped to 13,608 today after 740 more people lost their lives in England.
The grim figures released by NHS England come as Britain continues its fourth week of lockdown during the crisis.
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The death toll in England is now 12,396 – rising above 12,000 for the first time.
Of the 740 new deaths announced in England, 151 occurred on April 15, 314 occurred on April 14 and 122 occurred on April 13.
The current numbers are based on those who have died in hospitals – if deaths outside of hospital were factored in, the UK toll could be as much as 50 per cent higher, new figures suggest.
Among the latest deaths is 28-year-old nurse Mary Agyapong, who died of coronavirus five days after her baby was born.
It is understood doctors performed an emergency caesarean on the medic shortly after she was admitted to hospital last week – having lost her dad to suspected Covid-19 just days earlier.
Mary joins over 40 NHS heroes who have sacrificed their lives to treat patients during the crisis.
Yesterday, TV's Dr Hilary Jones paid tribute to a paediatrician today who saved the lives of his two children.
Tributes also poured in for a "super hero" doctor and "wonderful" student nurse who died from the bug.
Today, a further 80 deaths were recorded in Scotland, bringing the country's total death toll to 779.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 7,102 people have now tested positive for the virus north of the border, up by 354 from 6,748 the day before.
Public Health Wales recorded a further 32 deaths – up from 463 yesterday. It brings the total number of coronavirus deaths in Wales to 495.
In Northern Ireland 18 more people have died, bringing its total death toll to 158.
It comes as War hero Captain Tom Moore completed 100 laps of his garden this morning, raising more than £13 million for the NHS.
The 99-year-old WWII veteran completed the last few laps on his zimmer frame – and insisted he will continue for as long as people keep giving money.
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Pressure is now mounting on the government to report the number of hidden deaths outside hospital in their daily UK tally to get a better idea of the true death toll.
The Office for National Statistics found Covid-19 was responsible for 6,235 deaths in England and Wales by April 3 – including backdated hospital deaths and those who died elsewhere.
This figure is almost 2,000 higher than the official number reported by the Department of Health, which only records hospital deaths, on April 4.
The ONS found 217 care home deaths were linked to coronavirus by April 3 – ten times more than the 20 reported at the end of the previous week.
But some experts have warned as many as 4,000 care home residents may have lost their lives without their deaths being officially recorded yet.
Yesterday, deaths in the UK reached 12,868 after 761 more people lost their lives – including a healthy 20-year-old.
But the true total could be higher due to a lag in reporting the figures over the weekend.
Previous weekends have seen official numbers fall, before they started to climb again the following week.
It comes as Britain could stay in lockdown until June over fears lifting the drastic measures too quickly could lead to a second wave of the pandemic.
Ministers are expected to back a three-week extension to the lockdown today – but some feel pushing it to May or even June would be the right move.
Others believe keeping it shut for too long risks a complete economic meltdown.
Plans are being considered to reopen some primary schools and nurseries next month – with schools outside London and Birmingham set to be the first to open once the lockdown is lifted.
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The full scale of the Covid-19 meltdown emerged in government figures, which predicted the country’s economy may be slashed by a record 35 per cent by June.
Unemployment could rocket to 3.4 million and the deficit may spiral to £218billion this year.
The figures, produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility, predict a slump not seen since the 1700s.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is now said to be pushing to have measures eased by next month to save the economy and stop up to two million people losing their jobs.
Europe has now suffered more than one million cases of coronavirus – making it the worst hit continent in the pandemic.
According to a tally by AFP, 2,083,822 COVID-19 infections and 137,500 deaths have been registered globally.
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