LONDON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Britain reached 798 Friday, an increase of 208 over 24 hours, according to the British Department of Health and Social Care.
It is by far the highest rise in cases of COVID-19 in a single day. By Friday morning, 10 patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died.
According to health authorities, the true figure for people infected with the novel coronavirus in Britain might be between 5,000 and 10,000.
Earlier Friday, a British Foreign Minister spokesperson announced travel advice to Spain, saying that "We are advising against all but essential travel to the regions of Madrid, La Rioja and the municipalities of La Bastida, Vitoria and Miranda de Ebro."
"The travel advice has been updated because these areas have been designated by the Spanish authorities as 'areas of community transmission'," the spokesperson said.
The British government announced on Thursday that Britain has switched from the "containment" phase to "delay" in response to the spread of virus in the country, a move to encourage more "social distancing" among the British people.
Starting from Friday, school trips abroad will be banned and all people with flu-like symptoms should self-isolate for seven days, said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after an emergency COBRA committee meeting Thursday.
The prime minister described the threat of coronavirus as "the worst public health crisis in a generation."
"This disease is more dangerous (than seasonal flu)...I must level with the British public, many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time," Johnson warned.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged all countries to "double down" on efforts to fight the virus, after the organization characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a "pandemic" earlier this week.