Another 18 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the UK’s official death toll up to 41,347.

However ‘technical difficulties’ at Public Health England mean the Government was not expected to update the daily total tally of cases on Thursday. A very similar issue happened on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, scientist Helen Ward of Imperial College London – who’s leading a study into the virus – said Covid-19 was ‘spread out’ across the country in January and February despite officials only catching the first UK case at the end of January.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she said: ‘What was interesting (about the study) is that we can tell from people who reported not only having a positive test, but we also asked about their symptoms so we can actually track for most people – the 70% of people who reported symptoms – when they think they were infected.

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‘And it did start in January, February, and actually it started right across the country, so you can’t say that it started in London and spread out. Right from the beginning, it was widely dispersed.’

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