THE death toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 1,000 in the UK.

The business secretary vowed the Government would fight 'tooth and nail' to get the UK through the pandemic at the daily briefing at Downing Street this afternoon.

A total of 1,019 people have now died in the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic after a further 260 people lost their lives overnight.

The death toll across Europe now stands at more than 20,000. Across the UK 120,776 tests have been done of which 103,687 were confirmed negative and 17,089 positive.

The business secretary Alok Sharma delivered the daily briefing with the Prime Minister, Health Secretary, chief medical officer and now the secretary of state for Scotland, Alister Jack, all showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Around a third of the cases in the UK are in London. The NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel building in East London will have a capacity of 4,000 beds which would make it the largest in the country.

It is expected that 500 intensive care beds will be up and running at the hospital by the middle to end of next week.

However, NHS medical director Stephen Powis said London was not yet at bed capacity and new beds were being opened all the time with theatres and recovery areas being used to increase and even double capacity.

He said there had been 'a big increase in deaths and every death is tragic'.

"We need to do everything we can to to ensure we don't lose the lives of loved ones to this terrible virus" he said.

Mr Powis said the UK would do well if they could keep deaths below 20,000 during the course of the pandemic.

He said: "We can beat this virus. We can reduce the number of deaths but only if we reduce the spread and the transmission. Now isn't the time to be be complacent. Now is the time to really, really lockdown."

The business secretary said the pandemic presented an 'unprecedented challenge' and he appreciated how tough it was but that support was in place for the employed and self-employed with grants, business rate holidays available and measures to improve the insolvency system.

"Britain is meeting the challenge, working together in a joint endeavour to get through this pandemic. Be in no doubt the Government will continue to fight tooth and nail to protect lives and livelihoods everywhere in this country as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our people and our businesses" said Mr Sharma.