A total of 1,950 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK – but the actual number of cases is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000.
The country is now ramping up measures to tackle the outbreak, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson issuing new guidance for the public on Monday.
Some 50,400 people in the UK have been tested for the respiratory infection. More than 70 people who tested positive have died, according to latest figures available.
Find out how many people have confirmed cases in your area:
The following maps, charts and graphics will help you understand the situation in the UK and how the authorities are dealing with it.
1. The UK has changed course
The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January.
While there were a number of people testing positive throughout February, figures in the UK began to increase at the beginning of March.
On Monday 16 March, Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced significant new measures to slow the spread of the virus, including: working from home where possible; stopping all unnecessary travel and for over 70s to self isolate at home in the coming weeks.
The number of people that have died from the virus in the UK has now risen to 71, according to figures published on 17 March.
Confirmed case numbers for the UK are lower than other European countries, such as Italy, for example, where there have been almost 28,000 cases and more than 2,000 deaths, according to 17 March figures from the World Health Organization.
Globally, authorities have confirmed more than 184,000 cases of the coronavirus and more than 7,500 deaths.
There have now been more than 100,000 cases outside China – overtaking the 82,007 in the country where the virus originated in December.
2. We are in the second phase of the government’s response
The government has published its action plan for dealing with the virus, which involves three phases – contain; delay; mitigate – alongside ongoing research.
While the emphasis has been on the contain and research phases up until this week, the country has now moved to the “delay” phase to stop the wider spread of the virus.
As part of the delay phase, people with even mild coronavirus symptoms – defined as a temperature above 37.8 C or a “new, continuous” cough – are being asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days to protect others and help slow the spread of the disease.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, that even if you have no symptoms, you should still:
- Stop all non-essential contact with others
- Stop all unnecessary travel
- Work at home where possible
- Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues
The government is now encouraging self-isolation at home for over 70s, and those more vulnerable to the virus, for 12 weeks from Friday.
British nationals should also avoid all non-essential foreign travel to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the Foreign Office has advised.
If the virus becomes even more widespread, the government may then decide to enter the third phase of mitigation, when health services are asked to focus on critical care and retired NHS staff could be asked to return to work.
3. People who think they have coronavirus should self-isolate
If you have a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and think you have coronavirus you are advised not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, you and the people you live with should self isolate for 14 days.
If symptoms persist you should contact the NHS’s dedicated 111 online coronavirus service or call 111.