DEATHS in the UK from the coronavirus pandemic have risen to 1,228 and the first frontline NHS worker has died after testing positive for Covid-19.

In total there have been 209 deaths of UK patients testing positive for Covid-19 since yesterday's report.

However, Government minister Robert Jenrick, speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing today, said that with continuing social distancing the UK could 'turn the tide' against the virus.

Tributes were also paid to Amged El-Hawrani, the ear nose and throat surgeon who died at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Saturday evening after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mr Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government led the broadcast, telling people to 'stay at home, protect the NHS, that is the way we can all save lives and begin to turn the tide on the virus'.

He said there had been a 'high degree of compliance' with the rules and that young people should not regard themselves as 'invincible' from the virus.

Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said the restrictions would be reviewed every three weeks for the next six months and that it was necessary for people to follow the restrictions to avoid a second peak.

"We need to keep that lid on and gradually we will be able to adjust some of the social distancing measures and gradually get us all back to normal," she said.

The officer said within two or three months we could see whether we have 'really squashed it' but this could take three to six months.

She said she expected deaths to increase for the next week or two even with the restrictions in place but that 'if we keep doing what we're doing' they anticipated that the number of deaths would begin to drop.

Mr Jenrick said frontline NHS workers must have the right protective equipment and this would be secured by a national supply distribution team supported by the military.

He said 170 million masks, 42.8 million gloves, 13.7 million aprons and 182,000 gowns, almost 10 million items of cleaning equipment, 2.3 million pairs of eye protectors had been delivered to 58,000 NHS trusts and healthcare settings, including hospitals, GP surgeries, dentists, community pharmacies, care homes and hospices.