Seven more people die in Wales as UK coronavirus death toll hits 240 and three medics, 30, are ill

Seven more people in Wales have died after contracting the coronavirus as the UK death toll hits 240 with 5,018 positive tests for Covid-19.  

The surge in cases of the Wuhan virus comes as Boris Johnson pleads with young people to take the potentially life-threatening infections more seriously.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton confirmed today that 12 people in Wales have died in total, rising overnight by seven. 

‘My thoughts are with their families and friends, and I ask that their privacy is respected at this very sad time,’ Dr Atherton said. 

Meanwhile, three junior doctors – all aged 30 – are ‘not in a good way’ and said to be on ventilators after contracting the bug in the same London hospital. 

A medical source told The Sun on Sunday: ‘Some will get mild symptoms – but not all will, and what has happened to the junior doctors shows that.  

‘Hopefully they are all strong enough to fight off the virus. But it serves as a warning to younger people not to be complacent.’ 

Northwick Park Hospital declared a 'critical incident' due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

Northwick Park Hospital declared a 'critical incident' due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

Northwick Park Hospital declared a ‘critical incident’ due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

Staff at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, receiving food and clothing donations

Staff at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, receiving food and clothing donations

Staff at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, receiving food and clothing donations

Northwick Park Hospital declared a 'critical incident' due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

Northwick Park Hospital declared a 'critical incident' due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

Northwick Park Hospital declared a ‘critical incident’ due to a surge in patients with Covid-19

The UK’s coronavirus death toll skyrocketed by 56 yesterday, while seven patients in Wales who tested positive for the disease have died. 

The total deaths in England rose by 56 yesterday, as a 41-year-old is thought to be the youngest victim in Britain since the outbreak began. 

SCOTS WARNED COVID-19 DEATHS COULD BE ‘MUCH WORSE’ THAN 2,000 IF ADVICE IGNORED 

The death toll from coronavirus in Scotland could be ‘much worse’ than 2,000 if people fail to heed warnings to stay at home, a government expert has warned.

National clinical director Jason Leitch spoke out after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said pubs that stay open during the Covid-19 outbreak are putting lives at risk.

Ms Sturgeon said that, while the ‘vast majority’ of bars, restaurants and cafes have complied with instructions from the Scottish Government to close, she had seen suggestions on social media that a ‘small minority might not be complying’.

She insisted: ‘If that’s true, make no mistake … lives are at risk as a result. Please do the right thing now.’

Professor Leitch said: ‘We really aren’t messing around with this now. 

‘To protect individuals and society’s vulnerable, we need to make very drastic social distancing and isolation choices.’

The medical expert continued: ‘The Chief Scientific Adviser in England has said he thinks 20,000 deaths across the UK would be a good outcome.

‘In Scotland, that would be about 2,000, but the worst-case scenario is much worse than that. People need to take the advice they’re being given very seriously.’

Heeding advice not to go out unless necessary, and to stay away from others could be ‘the difference between tens of thousands of deaths and the number of around 2,000’, he added.

Prof Leitch stressed: ‘We’ve told the symptomatic and very vulnerable to stay at home. Then we told some other groups – those with diseases, those over 70 and those who are pregnant – to take very seriously the calls to reduce social contact.

‘For everyone else, they must socially distance themselves as much as possible – that means no pubs, no clubs, no birthday parties, no Mother’s Day family dinners.

‘It’s a horrible thing and none of us have done it lightly but it’s to protect the people that will get this virus because it’s a proper disease.’

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK has soared to 5,018.

All new victims in England had underlying health conditions, which is understood to include those suffering from cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, as well as cancer patients.

The eldest victim was a 94-year-old.   

Wales’s death toll has risen by seven to 12, and Scotland’s now stands at seven, while Northern Ireland’s death toll remains at one.

Eight of the new deaths in England were at Northwick Park Hospital, in North West London, which declared a ‘critical incident’ on Friday.  

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson urged Britons to celebrate Mother’s Day remotely by using video calls – as he admits the NHS could be ‘overwhelmed’ by the outbreak.

The PM warned that ‘the numbers are very stark and they are accelerating’ as doctors said a ‘tsunami’ of severely ill patients was about to engulf them.

They described near-apocalyptic scenes amid chronic shortages of basic equipment and fears that unprotected medics could become desperately ill themselves – or even become unwitting carriers and infect others.  

As hospitals raced to convert operating theatres into intensive care wards and begged vets to hand over ventilators normally used for pets, Mr Johnson pleaded with the public to reduce social interaction, even with their mothers.

Mr Johnson said that ‘this Mother’s Day, the single best present that we can give… is to spare them the risk of catching a very dangerous disease’.

He added: ‘Across the country, I know that millions of people will have been preparing to do something special – not just a card, not just flowers.

‘I know that everyone’s strongest instinct is to see their mother in person, to have a meal together, to show them how much you love them.’ 

The PM’s plea comes as rising numbers of infections has sparked people into frantic panic-buying, clearing the shelves of the nation’s supermarkets.  

Environment Secretary George Eustice told people to ‘calm down’ and claimed there is ‘more than enough food to go around’.But he said frontline NHS staff were being deprived of essentials because of an upswing in stockpiling.

He said: ‘This is a challenging time and there are many things the Government is asking the nation to do differently as we work together to fight this pandemic.

‘Be responsible when you shop and think of others. 

‘Buying more than you need means others may be left without.’ 

A sign provides directions to a so-called 'coronavirus pod' at a hospital in London

A sign provides directions to a so-called 'coronavirus pod' at a hospital in London

A sign provides directions to a so-called ‘coronavirus pod’ at a hospital in London

Boris Johnson warned that 'the numbers are very stark and they are accelerating' as doctors said a 'tsunami' of severely ill patients was about to engulf them

Boris Johnson warned that 'the numbers are very stark and they are accelerating' as doctors said a 'tsunami' of severely ill patients was about to engulf them

Boris Johnson warned that ‘the numbers are very stark and they are accelerating’ as doctors said a ‘tsunami’ of severely ill patients was about to engulf them

Environment Secretary George Eustice with National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis (right) and British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson (left)

Environment Secretary George Eustice with National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis (right) and British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson (left)

Environment Secretary George Eustice with National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis (right) and British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson (left)

Mr Eustice was flanked by British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson and NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis, who condemned the selfishness and said: ‘Frankly we should all be ashamed.’ 

The health chief made his admonishment as he pointed to a viral video of female health worker Dawn Bilbrough, 51, who broke down in tears after she faced rows of bare shelves following an exhausting shift. 

Ms Dickinson laid bare the sheer tonnage of food which has flown off the shelves in recent weeks when she revealed: ‘There is a billion pounds more food in people’s houses than there was three weeks ago, so we should make sure we eat some of it. 

As the Government doubled down its efforts to curb panic-buying: 

  • High streets were deserted as Britons adjusted to a new world defined by pub and gym closures, and Government orders to self-isolate;
  • The NHS struck a deal with private hospitals for 20,000 extra staff, 8,000 beds and 1,200 ventilators in the fight against Covid-19;
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s promise to underwrite 80 percent of employees’ wages was estimated to cost £10billion in three months if just 10 percent of the workforce signed up to the scheme; 
  • Almost a billion people worldwide are now confined to their homes; 
  • A London barista, 28, died from malaria after failing to get through to coronavirus-overloaded 111 call centre;
  • A doctor slammed the Government for not providing adequate protective gear for NHS staff, who were being ‘coughed on’ in busy shifts;
  • Schemes to allow the elderly and NHS workers into supermarkets early was accused of mixing the most vulnerable and the most prone to infection;
  • The Government drew up plans to buy shares in ailing British Airways;  
  • Boris Johnson’s scientific experts advised the Government that social distancing measures of some kind might last for most of the year.

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