UK coronavirus cases rise to 273


The number of cases of coronavirus in the UK have soared to 273 – an increase of 64 and the biggest 24-hour jump yet.

More than 23,500 people have been tested for the virus in the UK, with two patients with Covid-19 having died.

The latest figures were published as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a “national effort” is required to tackle the outbreak.

He hailed the “good example” set by a group of people released from hospital quarantine on Sunday, who had been repatriated to the UK last month from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

The group of 30 Britons and two Irish nationals are now allowed to leave Arrowe Park hospital in the Wirral, having been given the all clear from infection.

The announcement came as more than a quarter of Italy’s population were placed in mandatory quarantine as the government attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree just after midnight, which affects about 16 million people in the country’s prosperous north, including the Lombardy region and at least 14 provinces in neighbouring regions.

The measures will be in place until April 3.