UK on Saturday reported 708 more deaths from COVID-19 in a new daily high, as the number of confirmed cases rose to nearly 42,000.

According to the health ministry, 4,313 people who tested positive for the virus in hospital had died as of 1600 GMT on Friday while there were 41,903 confirmed cases as of 0800 GMT on Saturday, up by 3,735.

The number of deaths has been steadily increasing at more than over 500 deaths a day this week and the country is bracing for an expected peak in the next week to 10 days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is in self-isolation after developing mild symptoms of the disease, ordered a three-week lockdown of the country on March 23 to try to cut infections.

Johnson said in a video message, “I just urge you not to do that,” Johnson said in a video message on Friday. “Please, please stick with the guidance now.”

Health Sreectary Matt Hancock, who had been self-isolating after his COVID-19 diagnosis last week, he returned to the frontline on Thursday.

During a daily briefing on Friday, he warned against any relaxation in social distancing and said, “If we do, people will die”.

“We still think things will plateau but we’ll be at quite high levels of infection for weeks and weeks rather than seeing quite a rapid decline as the type seen in China,” he said.

As many as 951,901 cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded around the world and at least 48,284 people have died, according to the latest information compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Italy, one of the worst hit countries, has lost 15,362 people to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

China, where the virus originated from, reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, up from 19 a day earlier as the number of cases involving travellers from abroad as well as local transmissions increased.