THREE people have died in Whiston Hospital after contracting coronavirus, NHS England has confirmed.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Whiston Hospital, said it will not comment on individual cases.

However, it is understood the three patients are the first to have died at Whiston Hospital after contracting COVID-19.

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Their families have been informed.

The news comes as it was revealed 393 people died in the last 24 hours in the UK after contracting coronavirus – the biggest daily jump so far.

This takes the total number of confirmed deaths in the UK to 1,808.

In England, 367 who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 1,651.

NHS England said the patients were aged between 19 and 98 years old and all but 28 patients had underlying health conditions.

The 19-year-old victim did not have underlying health conditions, NHS England said.

No further details have been published about those who have died in the last 24 hours.

The number of patients suspected or confirmed to have contracted coronavirus in Whiston Hospital has steadily grown over the last week.

At the time of writing, there were 49 confirmed cases in St Helens and 34 in Knowsley.

This is likely to rise when Public Health England publishes the latest figures this evening.

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On Friday, Rob Cooper, operational director of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said the trust is doing “everythin they can” to prepare for the peak of the coronavirus, which it expects in the next fortnight.

The trust has taken several other steps for this purpose, such as postponing all non-urgent outpatient appointments and surgery.

This has helped free up space and staff for the expected influx of patients in the coming weeks.