Coronavirus: Britain now has 273 cases as infected in biggest daily rise so far

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has taken a giant leap.

A total of 273 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Sunday, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

A daily update of figures published on its website said: "As of 9am on 8 March 2020, 23,513 people have been tested in the UK, of which 23,240 were confirmed negative and 273 were confirmed as positive.

"Two patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died."

The spread of the coronavirus is accelerating at a rapid pace in the with experts predicting the deadly outbreak will peak around Easter.

Virologists suggest millions of Brits may be at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan in Mainland China.

People are now starting to panic buy household essentials and wear masks in pubic in a bid to protect themselves from the killer epidemic.

It comes as two more cases of coronavirus have been reported in Scotland, according to the Scottish Government.

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Newly-released figures show a total of 18 positive tests of Covid-19 in Scotland on Sunday, exactly a week after the first case emerged north of the border.

Cases have been reported in Tayside, Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Grampian, Fife, Lothian and Lanarkshire.
The latest positive tests were recorded in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Lothian.

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In England there appear to be a concentration of cases in London and Liverpool.

Public Health England is working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

The Government has also said it is doing everything in its power to halt the spread of the deadly virus, which cases severe respiratory symptoms.

This includes setting up specialist treatment pods in hospitals and clinics across the country were suspected coronavirus patients can be screened.

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World Health Organization (WHO) called the spread of the virus "deeply concerning" as a new wave of countries reported their first cases of the COVID-19 virus in the last few days.

Global governments are now increasingly imposing travel controls, telling people to work from home if possible and sanitising public spaces.

Despite its epidemic-level global spread, the figure of those infected still dwarfs global infection rates for other major outbreaks in recent decades, such as Sars, Mers and Ebola.

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