A further 16 coronavirus patients have died at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, a record number of deaths announced in a day since the outbreak of the virus.

The Harlow hospital, run by The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, has now recorded a total of 69 COVID-19 deaths.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive, for The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We can confirm that sadly, 16 patients, aged between 51 and 91, all except one of whom had underlying conditions, have passed away at The Princess Alexandra Hospital. They had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients’ families and loved ones at this difficult time."

For updates and reaction on the coronavirus pandemic from across east London and Essex visit our live blog.

NHS England today confirmed the latest deaths, which occurred over a six-day period beginning April 1.

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death.

This means some of the deaths that were first recorded in the last 24 hours may actually have taken place days earlier.

NHS England guidance states: "Confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis, death notification and reporting in central figures can take up to several days and the hospitals providing the data are under significant operational pressure."

Across the UK, a further 758 people, who tested positive have died, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 5,655.

Of the latest deaths, patients were aged between 23 and 102 years old.

Twenty-nine of the 758 patients (aged between 23 and 99 years old) had no known underlying health condition.

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