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UK records 1,288 new COVID-19 cases - government data

FILE PHOTO: A technician enters the new COVID-19 testing lab at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, amid the coronavirus disease epidemic in Glasgow, Britain April 22, 2020. Andrew Milligan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom recorded 1,288 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, up from 1,033 a day earlier, government figures showed.

Eighteen people died after testing positive for the coronavirus within 28 days, up from two a day earlier.

The new cases were recorded as the government ramps up testing so it can suppress the spread of the virus and ease restrictions that have crippled the economy.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by David Clarke