The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has reached 590 – up 134 in the last 24 hours.
Two more patients have died in London hospitals since Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of UK deaths to 10, NHS England said.
The increase of confirmed cases by 134 – 29% – is the largest day-on-day increase since the outbreak began in late December in Wuhan, central China.
The day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus a pandemic, Thursday was the first time the day-on-day increase reached three figures in the UK.
A week ago, on 5 March, the total number of cases was 115, making Thursday’s total of 590 more than five times greater than that.
The increase in numbers came as Boris Johnson hosted a COBRA meeting in which he is expected to move the UK from the “contain” stage to the “delay” stage of tackling the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The ninth and tenth person to have died from COVID-19 were both in London and had underlying health issues.