Coronavirus UK

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Ten more people in the UK have died in the last 24 hours after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 21.

The UK government’s chief medical adviser said the patients were all in “at-risk” groups from across England.

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK has reached 1,140 while 37,746 people have been tested.

It comes as the government revealed plans to boost the number of NHS beds and ventilators to treat people.

British manufacturing companies are to be tasked with increasing the production of ventilators and other medical equipment, while the NHS could also buy up thousands of beds in private hospitals.

In a conference call with manufacturers on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge them to join a “national effort” to tackle the virus.

Downing Street says it has already been working with suppliers in the UK and abroad to increase the nation’s supply of ventilators.

Earlier, the Labour Party and GMB union called for the government to use empty beds in “plush private hospitals” to ease the pressure on the NHS.

It comes as Prof Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser, warned that facilities for people needing oxygen and critical care beds would be the parts of the NHS that will come under pressure first as the scale of the outbreak increases.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump decided to suspend all travel between the US and the UK and Ireland.

A No 10 spokesman said Mr Johnson had since spoken to Mr Trump, and set out the “science-led approach” the UK is taking.

During their conversation, the two leaders also agreed on the “importance” of international collaboration to fast-track the development of a vaccine.

It comes as France ordered non-essential locations used by the public to close, and asked citizens to go out as little as possible. Several European countries have closed their borders or shut their airports.

US vice president Mike Pence said the ban would begin at midnight on Monday eastern standard time (04:00 GMT), following a “unanimous recommendation” from health experts.

The US has already banned travel from 26 European countries.

Of the latest deaths in the UK, eight were men aged over 80 and all were in “at-risk” groups.

They were being treated in hospitals in Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester, London and Chester.

Prof Whitty said: “I understand this increase in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 will be a cause for concern for many. The public should know every measure we are taking is seeking to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.”

Most of the confirmed UK cases are in England. There have been 121 confirmed cases in Scotland60 in Wales and 34 in Northern Ireland.

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What do I do if I…

Have symptoms: If you are experiencing a new, continuous cough and/or a fever – defined as a temperature of above 37.8C – you should self-isolate at home for at least seven days, according to guidance released on Friday by Public Health England (PHE).

People with mild symptoms who are self-isolating at home are not currently being tested. All hospital patients with flu-like symptoms are being tested.

Live with or been in close contact with a positive case: The seven day isolation period now applies to everyone regardless of where you might have travelled or if you have had close contact with a confirmed case.

Read more here.

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People who are self-isolating with mild symptoms are no longer being tested for the virus. The government said on Friday it estimated the true number of UK cases to be around 5,000 to 10,000.

The PM has been meeting with officials at Downing Street to discuss the pandemic.

A mother and her newborn baby are among the latest confirmed to have the virus in England.

Medics are trying to confirm whether the baby, who was tested at North Middlesex Hospital, was infected during birth or before, according to the Sun newspaper.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said there was no evidence the virus can be passed on from pregnant women to babies before birth, but that due to how little is known about the new virus it would continue to update its guidance.

Government advice adds there is “no clinical evidence” to suggest the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.

“Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you,” it says.

Accreditation to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51889957
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