Coronavirus news – live: Ministers in fresh plea for Britons to stay at home as daily death toll tops 500 for first time

Jane Dalton, Samuel Osborne, Vincent Wood

A leading government minister has made a fresh plea for people to stay at home, warning of a dangerous second peak if the UK lockdown was halted too soon.

Business secretary Alok Sharma warned that the “massive effort” of what citizens have done so far could be wasted if people started socialising too early.

He issued his warning soon after the UN secretary-general said the world was facing the worst crisis since the second world war, as it battles a coronavirus pandemic threatening people in every country.

Antonio Guterres warned the outbreak will bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in recent past” as he called for a stronger and more effective global response.

Meanwhile, the UK, Italy, Spain, France and Russia record their highest daily death toll from Covid-19. Deaths in the UK rose 381 to 1,789, a 27 per cent day-on-day increase.

It comes as a British national was among four people to have died on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship at the centre of a bitter dispute over plans to disembark passengers in the US.

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