Figure is expected to exceed Spain’s worst daily toll and take total number of UK dead past 9,000

The UK is set to record its deadliest day yet from the coronavirus pandemic as the number killed in the outbreak passed 9,000.

A record 953 people were announced to have died in the four countries of the UK, taking the total to 9,016. This daily figure exceeds the worst figures announced in Spain, and is just behind the highest daily count in Italy of 971 recorded two weeks ago.

But while Europe’s worst-hit countries are now past the peak of the outbreak, the UK’s figures are expected to continue to rise for at least two more weeks.

The figures come on the day the global death toll from coronavirus approached 100,000.

The UK’s official daily death toll, which is calculated on a different time scale, will be confirmed later, and is expected to exceed Thursday’s daily total of 881 and the record tally of 938 announced on Wednesday.

On Friday NHS England confirmed a further 866 hospital deaths, taking England’s total to 8,114. In Scotland, which also counts deaths outside hospitals, there were 48 more deaths out of a total of 495. Wales recorded 29 more hospital deaths taking its total to 315, and there were 10 more fatalities in Northern Ireland bringing its total to 92 deaths.

The figures in England showed a particularly sharp rise in fatalities in the Midlands, where the number of victims rose by more than 84% from 124 to 229 in 24 hours. London remains the worst hit region with 249 deaths.

The patients who died in England were aged between 27 and 100 years old. All but 56 of them had underlying health conditions.

The latest data came after it was confirmed that coronavirus had claimed the life of a 10th NHS doctor. Dr Fayed Ayache had retired as a Suffolk GP but had been working part-time in North Clacton, Essex, until three weeks ago. He had also volunteered to help refugees from his native Syria. He died on Wednesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia and Covid-19.

Dr Sharif K Al-Ghazal, a consultant plastic surgeon at Bradford Royal Infirmary, paid tribute on behalf of the Syrian British Medical Society. He said: “Dr Fayez was a kind-hearted man who always went out of his way to assist his patients, even at great personal cost.”

His daughters Layla and Katie said: “He was an incredible and amazing doctor having worked as a GP, ENT consultant and surgeon in the NHS and private sector for over 40 years. We are truly devastated and will miss him dearly, he was a true foundation in our lives.”

Like Ayache, all the other nine doctors to have been named as victims of coronavirus have been from BAME backgrounds. They are:

  • Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, a consultant urologist at Homerton hospital in Hackney, east London, who had pleaded with the prime minister for more PPE.
  • Sami Shoush, a British-Egyptian doctor who specialised in histopathology, and had worked for more than 40 years at Charing Cross hospital in west London.
  • Dr Edmond Adedeji, an A&E doctor at the Great Western hospital in Swindon.
  • Syed Haider, a British Pakistani retired GP, who had worked at the Valence medical centre in Dagenham, east London.
  • Anton Sebastianpillai, a consultant geriatrician who trained in Sri Lanka and died in Kingston hospital, south-west London, just over two weeks after completing his last shift there.
  • Dr Alfa Saadu, a retired medical director born in Nigeria, who had been volunteering at his local hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
  • Amged el-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant of Sudanese descent who was working at Burton hospital near Derby.
  • Adil el Tayar, a surgeon from Sudan, who died after volunteering in A&E departments in the Midlands.
  • Habib Zaidi, 76, a GP with Pakistani origins, who died after showing “textbook symptoms” of the virus.

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