By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - The death toll in the U.K. from coronavirus has climbed up to 2,118 with 209 new deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures released by health officials on Sunday.
The figures came as a chief scientific adviser has warned that full lockdown could be in place until June.
Prof. Neil Ferguson, the government's leading epidemiology adviser, said the U.K. public would have to remain in their homes for nearly three months as the disease is contributing to rising numbers in the country.
“We're going to have to keep these measures [the full lockdown] in place, in my view, for a significant period of time - probably until the end of May, maybe even early June. May is optimistic,” Ferguson told The Sunday Times.
He said that even if the lockdown is lifted, people would still need to abide by social distancing measures for months to come.
The Department of Health and Social Care said 19,522 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.K., which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
127,737 people have been tested so far, according to the official figures.
Prince Charles, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Minister Matt Hancock are among those who tested positive.
The virus that emerged in Wuhan, China, last December has spread to at least 177 countries and territories.
According to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center, more than 681,700 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 31,800 deaths and more than 145,600 recoveries.