British health authorities on Wednesday confirmed that 32 more people have died in the country after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 104.
The National Health Service (NHS) England made the confirmation after the number of novel coronavirus cases in Britain hit 2,626 as of Wednesday morning.
The jump of 676 cases is the highest single-day increase in Britain so far since the outbreak. At the same time on Tuesday, the figure stood at 1,950.
“The (dead) patients were aged between 59 and 94 years old and had underlying health conditions,” said a statement from the NHS England.
Earlier Wednesday, Downing Street said that ministers could use existing laws to keep individuals “in isolation for their own safety”.
All schools in Scotland and Wales will be closed by Friday as local governments act to respond to the spread of COVID-19. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told the House of Commons (lower house) that further decisions on school closures were “to be taken imminently”.
Johnson also said that testing for the virus will be significantly increased to 25,000 tests a day.
Testing on patients in intensive care and isolated cluster outbreaks will be prioritized, according to Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser to the British government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that schools in the country will close from Friday for all pupils except the vulnerable and those with key worker parents.
Noting that the government needs to keep the National Health Service (NHS) going to fight COVID-19, Johnson said children of health workers and police officers, among other key workers, together with the most vulnerable children, can still go to school.