The coronavirus reached Britain in late January, cases have been on the rise since late February and the first death was recorded on March 5.
Tens of thousands of people in the UK have been tested for Covid-19 and the government has published an emergency action plan to deal with the pandemic.
He warned that one in five UK workers could be ill during a coronavirus spike, while the police could switch to dealing only with serious crime. The UK-wide response includes possible measures such as the cancellation of non-urgent transactions and retired NHS staff who are called “re-entry into service”.
The Telegraph map below shows cases where coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK. It comes from Public Health England ads and will be updated regularly based on reliable data.
The number of confirmed cases in the UK hit over 1,543 on Monday March 16. 53 people died.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now announced that the UK will move to the “delayed” phase, outlining the “social distancing” measures expected from the public.
On March 16, Johnson announced that everyone in the UK should now avoid visits to pubs, restaurants and “non-essential contacts” with other people, as it has implemented the greatest restriction on civil liberties “in peacetime”.
How many cases of coronavirus are there in your area?
Public Health England is releasing a daily update on how many confirmed coronavirus cases are in each English county.
Type your zip code in the tool below to find out how many cases there have been in your area.
How the national health service will do
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer in England, said the National Health Service will address a wide range of cases, but could face “very high pressure” in a major epidemic.
He said: “For the vast majority of people this will be a mild or moderate disease, anything from the nose to having to go to bed for a few days, rather than with mild flu.
“And there are some people who will have it without any symptoms, but for a minority of people – and this is particular in older people or in people with pre-existing health conditions – the risk is greater.
“The SSN will always deal because the SSN is an emergency service that is very good at adapting to what it is with.”
But he said that if the UK sees a very large epidemic, “then it will put very high pressure on the NHS” and there may be “several weeks that could be very difficult” for the health service and society at large.
Professor Whitty said he believes there is now a continuing transmission between people in the UK – which could lead to an increasing number – although only two such cases have been identified so far.
What does this mean for the UK?
UK mitigation efforts will be guided by the 2011 UK pandemic influenza preparedness strategy and will fall into four main areas:
- Encourage change in individual behavior: washing hands, staying at home if you feel unwell, looking for neighbors and relatives
- Social distancing – encouragement of home work, discouragement of public meetings, possible school closings, restrictions on international travel, online medical advice and tests
- Environmental hygiene: cleaning and spraying of public surfaces, intensification of checks on restaurants and takeaways, guarantee of good funeral practices
- Medical capacity development – accumulation of protective devices and drugs, limitation of visits and non-essential hospital operations, development of effective treatments and vaccines
How did coronavirus spread?
In late December, Chinese authorities sent out a public notice warning that “pneumonia of unknown cause” had been identified in Wuhan, central China.
About 10 days later, on January 7, scientists announced that a new coronavirus was the source of the epidemic, quickly adding that it was not spreading among humans.
At that point, less than 60 cases had been found. But now the virus, which has since been called Covid-19, has spread to over 100 countries, infecting over 169,000 people and killing over 6,500. Scientists believe the virus has mutated into two strains: the old “S-type” appears to be milder and less infectious, while the “L-type” that emerged later, spreads rapidly and currently accounts for about 70% of cases .
This map, which updates automatically, shows where the disease is located, how many cases there have been and how many people have died: