UK's COVID-19 death toll up 980 in largest rise to date

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK death toll from COVID-19 has risen by 980 to 8,958, health minister Matt Hancock said on Friday, its biggest daily rise to date.

The toll exceeded the deadliest day reported by Italy on March 28, the country worst hit by the coronavirus.

Hancock urged Britons not to leave their homes over the Easter holidays, during which hot weather is expected.

“This Easter will be another test of the nation’s resolve,” he said at a news conference in Downing Street.

Hancock confirmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s health was improving after leaving a three-night spell of intensive care on Thursday.

Johnson, who is being treated for COVID-19, is now able to take short walks, a Downing Street spokesman said earlier.

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