UK reports largest one-day death toll from coronavirus with 563 deaths

The United Kingdom saw its largest single-day death toll from the coronavirus Tuesday with 563 deaths, according to data released by the British government Wednesday.

The 31 percent spike brings the national total to 2,352 deaths. As of Wednesday morning, 29,474 people in the U.K. have tested positive for the virus. The new deaths included 16 in Scotland, 29 in Wales and two in Northern Ireland.

The nation’s Office for National Statistics reported earlier this week that the illness accounted for 1 percent of all deaths in England and Wales, with 103, for the week ending March 20.

Over the weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said officials “know things will get worse before they get better” in a letter posted shortly after he himself tested positive for the virus.

“It’s important for me to level with you — we know things will get worse before they get better,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”

Senior minister Michael Gove said Sunday that the U.K. remains “very concerned” about the number of deaths, adding that the country hopes to more than double daily testing to 25,000. The nation has banned gatherings of more than two people and prohibited people from leaving their homes for any reason other than medical needs, buying essentials, daily exercise and traveling to essential jobs.