Updated: See the latest stories on the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has jumped to 273 in the the largest day-on-day increase in positive tests, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed.

As of 9am on Sunday, there was an increase of 67 cases from the 206 confirmed at 7am on Saturday.

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

Two more cases have been confirmed in Scotland, bringing the total there to 18.

On Saturday night, three more people were diagnosed in Northern Ireland pushing its total to seven, while on Sunday morning it was announced confirmed cases in Wales had risen from two to four.

Supermarkets have started placing restrictions on items including pasta, anti-bacterial wipes and hand soap in a bid to prevent shoppers from stockpiling.

Commenting on reports of people panic-buying in shops, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday: “We’ve had no advice from the scientific advisers or medical officers that there’s any need for people to buy stuff in.

“If you think you have symptoms, the best thing to do as you know is to stay at home and contact the NHS.

“We will make sure we give the NHS… the investment it needs to cope with this crisis.”

The latest coronavirus 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.

Meanwhile in Italy, more than a quarter of population has been placed in mandatory quarantine as the government attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy has risen by by 133 to 366 on Saturday, officials said on Sunday.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is now advising against all but essential travel to a wider area of northern Italy due to the country’s coronavirus crisis.

One unnamed man diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK told BBC Radio 4 he was “shocked” and “surprised” at the lack of coronavirus information when he arrived at Manchester Airport after a skiing holiday in northern Italy last weekend.

Immediately self-isolating at home with his wife, he said the experience of being tested was “frightening” but was now feeling “well recovered” as he waited for a further test.

“By self-isolating think of all the lives we’ve saved,” he said.

Hancock has set out plans contained in emergency legislation to deal with the impact of the virus.

The Bill, which is likely to go through parliament by the end of the month, is expected to include measures to allow some court proceedings to be conducted via telephone or video.

Volunteers will be given additional employment safeguards, allowing them to leave their main jobs and temporarily help health and social systems in the event of a widespread pandemic.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, preparing to deliver his first Budget, said on Sunday the government was ready to deliver “whatever action is required” to deal with the crisis.

On Monday, Johnson will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra, while sports governing bodies and broadcasters will attend a meeting with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss how to handle the outbreak’s possible impact on the sporting calendar.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will chair a meeting of the House of Commons Commission to discuss parliament’s response.

Environment Secretary George Eustice will hold further talks with retailers to discuss support for vulnerable groups who may have to self-isolate.

Source: Huffington Post Australia Athena2 https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/number-of-confirmed-uk-coronavirus-cases-jumps-to-273_au_5e6563d2c5b68d61645614f3

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