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Coronavirus in the UK: Latest COVID-19 News & Case Counts

In the United Kingdom the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has reached 60,733 since the virus was first detected in the cou...

In the United Kingdom the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has reached 60,733 since the virus was first detected in the country in Feb. 2020. According to data from geographic information system ArcGIS, there have been 7,097 reported deaths with the virus (April 8) — the main symptoms of which are a fever, tiredness and persistent dry cough. 

This figure includes deaths in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A majority of confirmed cases and related deaths are located in England. Each day across the UK there are 5,491 new cases and 938 deaths (April 8).

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas', a National Health Service hospital, after persistent symptoms of COVID-19. On Thursday (April 9), the BBC reported that the prime minister is conscious and in a "stable condition", but still in an intensive care unit. Johnson tested positive with COVID-19 on March 27 after experiencing mild symptoms.

– In a daily briefing on April 2, health secretary Matt Hancock announced the government's goal to raise testing for COVID-19 across the country to 100,000 per day by the end of April. This goal will include an increase in swab testing for critical workers and seriously ill patients to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April, with aligned testing strategies planned across other devolved health authorities.

– On March 23, the UK government announced tighter restrictions on the population's movement, with only essential travel and one piece of exercise per day permitted. This was in addition to restrictions on businesses, with restaurants, pubs and cafes ordered to close. The stay-at-home order remains in place, and according to the government it is under constant review.

– On Sunday (April 5) Queen Elizabeth gave a rare address to the nation, in which she thanked the efforts of everyone "on the NHS frontline", as well as care workers and other essential roles. This is only the fourth time in her 68-year reign that she has made a special address, and it was watched by over 24 million people, according to the BBC.
Coronavirus Figures in the UK

On March 23, the entire nation was placed into stay-at-home lockdown after a public address from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has since written a letter to every household in the UK. "In just a few short weeks, everyday life in this country has changed dramatically," Johnson wrote. "If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to cope. This will cost lives."

The restrictions in place in the UK allow for citizens to leave their homes in only certain circumstances:

- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible. One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Though these measures from the Westminster government affect all countries within the United Kingdom, devolved governments in Wales and Scotland and the Northern Ireland Executive also maintain a level of control over specific countermeasures and advice given to the public and businesses.

The most populous member of the UK, England has so far recorded the highest number of Coronavirus cases and deaths, with 14,355 in the capital London. The emergency Nightingale hospital, opened by Prince Charles via video link on April 1, is aiming to support 4,000 patients in London and will required 16,000 staff to keep running, according to Sky News. Other Nightingale facilities are planned in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Harrogate.

The capital remains the epicenter of the outbreak in the UK, though Birmingham is also experiencing a large number of cases and related deaths. The University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust accounts for 4.7% of all COVID-19 related deaths recorded in England (April 7), according to the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

The Scottish government has delivered similar social distancing and stay-at-home instructions on the population as in the rest of the UK. To support the expected rise in serious cases, a new medical facility called NHS Louisa Jordan has been built in Scotland with capacity for 300 patients, with the option to expand to accommodate more than 1,000 people.

On March 18 Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell announced a £350 million emergency package to support those most affected by the pandemic. So far 25,022 tests have been carried out in Scotland, with 4,229 positive (April 7).

With a population of 3.38 million, according to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, Wales is the smallest country on the island of Great Britain. Tourism is a large part of the country's economy, and a 2016 report published by the devolved Welsh Government stated that tourism’s "contribution is 6% of all Gross Value Added in the overall Welsh economy".

The pandemic is expected to severely impact the Welsh economy, as social distancing and essential travel rules continue to be enforced. "The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the National Health Service (NHS)," Robin Howe, Incident Director at Public Health Wales said in a statement on April 1.

Northern IrelandAs the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a border with another country, Northern Ireland faces different challenges in relation to the outbreak. However, the country remains the least affected by COVID-19, according to ArcGIS.

On April 7, the Northern Ireland Executive released a Memorandum of Understanding, which describes the collaborative measures being taken between the Department of Health Ireland and the Department of Health Northern Ireland. 

"Everything possible will be done in co-ordination and cooperation between the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and with the active involvement of the health administrations in both jurisdictions to tackle the outbreak", ministers from both countries affirmed in the report.

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