TWO more deaths at Royal Bolton Hospital have been linked to coronavirus.

Figures published by NHS England this afternoon confirmed that one patient had died on Thursday after contracting the virus, and another patient had died with the virus on Wednesday, bringing the day's total to two.

The borough's hospital has now seen 204 patients die after contracting covid-19.

The Department of Health said 36,393 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 351 from the day before.

Over 254,000 cases of covid-19 have been confirmed across the nation, with 978 people in the borough testing positive for the virus.

Earlier today, reporters were told by scientific advisors that the reproductive rate of coronavirus had remained steady for a second week.

The so-called R-number – the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person – was between 0.7 and 1 across the UK.

Latest rates have stayed the same for two consecutive weeks, but remains higher than the previous one, which was between 0.5 and 0.9.