COVID-19 death toll jumps to 9,875 in UK, 78,991 cases confirmed

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Strollers enjoy the sunny and warm weather whilst they keep their distance after the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown in Brighton, England, Saturday, April 11, 2020. (Photo: AP)

LONDON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of those hospitalized in Britain who tested positive for the novel coronavirus reached 9,875 as of Friday afternoon, marking a daily increase of 917, the Department of Health and Social Care said Saturday.

As of Saturday morning, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Britain hit 78,991, said the department.

Amid mounting pressure on the government over the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the frontline medical staff, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Saturday that she was "sorry if people feel there have been failings" over PPE supplies.

"We are in an unprecedented global pandemic. There are going to be problems," Patel said at the daily coronavirus briefing in Downing Street.

The British government has published a nation-wide plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline responding to COVID-19.

The plan will provide clear guidance on who needs PPE and when they need it, ensure those who need it can get it at the right time and set out action to secure enough PPE to last through the crisis, according to a statement from the government.

A new national supply and logistics network has been created from scratch in a matter of weeks to manage supply and demand across Britain, and to make sure appropriate PPE reaches those who need it.

"We now have capacity for coronavirus tests for all key NHS (National Health Service) and social care staff across the country," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday on Twitter.

Britain's coronavirus lockdown faces its most serious test this weekend as the public is urged to stay at home during the Easter bank holiday weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making "very good progress" as he continues his coronavirus recovery in hospital, Downing Street said Saturday.

The prime minister is playing games and watching classic films, and his choices of entertainment are said to include the 1987 comedy Withnail and I, and Lord of the Rings,according to Sky News.

Downing Street on Friday announced that Johnson had been able to take "short walks, between periods of rest" at St Thomas' Hospital in London.

Johnson was moved to a general ward on Thursday evening after spending three days in intensive care. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.