By Karim El-Bar
LONDON (AA) - British health authorities announced on Saturday that the U.K.-wide death toll from coronavirus rose by 708 over the last 24 hours, the record rise so far.
The Department of Health announced: “As of 9am 4 April, a total of 183,190 people have been tested of which 41,903 tested positive.
“As of 5pm on 3 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 4,313 have sadly died.”
The figures came as government, health, and police authorities instructed Brits to remain at home, and respect the lockdown as the weather warms this weekend.
The government also announced that up to 4,000 prisoners in England and Wales would be temporarily released from prison in efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the ruling center-right Conservative Party wrote a letter to opposition leaders saying: “As party leaders, we have a duty to work together at this moment of national emergency. Therefore, I would like to invite all leaders of opposition parties in Parliament to a briefing with myself, the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser next week. I want to listen to your views and update you on the measures we have taken so far.”
Earlier in the day, Sir Keir Starmer won the leadership election for the main opposition, the center-left Labour Party, announcing that he "will engage constructively with the government."
After first appearing in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, the virus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions.
The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 60,800, with more than 1.1 million confirmed cases, and over 233,800 recoveries, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.