Biggest recorded daily increase in coronavirus cases across Lancashire
95 more coronavirus cases diagnosed in Lancashire
Official figures show that 95 more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Lancashire.
It brings the number of cases recorded in the area up to 463, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock reaffirmed the Government's commitment to eventually carry out 250,000 tests a day.
Public Health England figures show that 463 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am Thursday morning (April 2) in Lancashire, up from 368 the same time on Wednesday. A week before, there were 102 cases.
They were among the 3,066 cases recorded across the North West, a figure which rose by 653 over the 24-hour period.
Across the UK, 33,718 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Thursday, up from 29,474 at the same point on Wednesday, Department of Health and Social Care figures show.
In total, 163,194 people had been tested, and, as of 5pm on Wednesday, 2,921 had died.
The Government has come under increasing pressure to carry out more coronavirus tests, with the Health Secretary promising to ramp up the response.
Mr Hancock has said the Government’s original target of eventually reaching 250,000 tests a day "still stands", but that he wanted to "put avery clear timeline" on a new goal to get to 100,000 by the end of the month as he set out a five pillar plan to tackle the issue.
This would include working with universities and private businesses to establish new swab testing sites and asking leading pharmaceutical firms to help create a British diagnostics industry “at scale”.
He said currently no antibody tests, which show whether someone has already had Covid-19, have been "pencilled in" as part of the 100,000 figure.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, he said: "We haven't put in a breakdown of the different type of tests.
"It is a 100,000 goal across the five pillars of the testing strategy.
"I haven't actually pencilled any in for the hometest – the antibody tests – andthe reason for that is because we so far haven't found one that works and soI'm not going to pencil any in, but if we do find one that works obviously thatwill be great."
In other coronavirus news:
The UK's service sector has seen its largest collapse on record as the economy ground to a standstill to contain the spread of coronavirus, according to new figures.
Mr Hancock said he has not been advised to change the UK's approach on the public wearing face masks after news that the US government is formalising new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear them.
He told BBC Breakfast that around 1,500 frontline healthcare staff are being tested daily since centres opened at the weekend but that number is "ramping up fast".
Two siblings of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, the 13-year-old who died after testing positive for coronavirus, have developed symptoms including a temperature and loss of taste, according to a family friend.