UK, France and New York virus death tolls rise sharply, but infections slow
London — The UK, France and New York state in the US on Tuesday reported their worst daily death tolls since the pandemic began.
The UK's department of health and social care said a further 786 people had died from the virus. In total, 55,242 people have tested positive for the disease in the UK.
Despite the record daily death toll, there was more encouraging news with the number of new daily cases remaining at a roughly stable 3,643.
In the US, New York state reported its single-largest daily increase in coronavirus deaths. Governor Andrew Cuomo said a total of 5,489 people had died, up from 4,758 on Monday.
Despite the surge, there are signs that infection rates in New York may also be slowing. The 8,147 new cases made Tuesday the third straight day below the peak of 10,841 hit on Friday. It is also below the 8,658 announced on Monday.
France on Tuesday reported fewer new coronavirus cases even as the total number of deaths rose, according to figures presented by the head of the French public health agency Jerome Salomon.
Deaths rose by 1,417 to 10,328, with nursing home deaths continuing to increase. The total number of confirmed cases rose by 3,777, slightly slower than Monday’s increase of 3,912.
More than 30,000 people are in hospital in France, 7,131 of them in intensive care.
In Spain, 743 people died in the 24 hours up to Tuesday morning, compared with 637 the previous day.
Elsewhere, Colombia extended a nationwide quarantine until April 27. The lockdown was originally set to last 19 days, ending just before midnight on April 13. More than 1,500 people have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus in Colombia and 46 have died.
"This isolation — which seeks the best of all of us — is exactly so we can keep saving lives, breaking the exponential growth of this pandemic," President Ivan Duque said during a live television broadcast.
Ireland also looked likely to extend its lockdown. Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the department of health, told a news briefing on Tuesday he did not expect to recommend the lifting of severe restrictions on economic activity and the movement of people by April 12.