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England, UK: Latest updates on Coronavirus

Tower Bridge in London
London, the capital of England, currently reports the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Last updated April 28 at 18:32 p.m. BST

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have peaked to 114,456 in England, since the virus — which has the characteristic symptoms of fever, tiredness and persistent dry cough — was first confirmed to have entered Britain in February 2020. That’s according to data from geographic information system ArcGIS, which also cites 19,294 deaths in England.

U.K. coronavirus cases have reached 161,145 with a total of 21,678 deaths across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to ArcGIS.

The U.K. government said that testing for COVID-19 would be freely available to National Health Service (NHS) staff, who are on the front line of combating the disease. The statement follows concerns from healthcare professionals, who according to Health Service Journal, have revealed that they are not being tested for the virus despite being exposed to infected patients.

"Sir Simon Stevens [chief executive of NHS England] was therefore able to confirm on Friday that a testing program to support the retention of NHS staff can now begin this week, and we all urgently want to be able to expand testing to cover as many staff as possible," a letter dated March 29 from the NHS to its healthcare staff said.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27 and is currently self-isolating — revealed via Twitter on March 30 that approximately 20,000 former NHS staff have returned to work to fight the virus.

The response comes in the wake of the death of several NHS healthcare professionals — which includes a 55-year-old ear, nose and throat consultant at Queen’s Hospital Burton and a 63-year-old organ transplant expert — combined with a statement from the U.K.'s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries that it could take "six months before life returns to "normal"". Harries made the revelation during a daily coronavirus briefing, broadcast from Downing Street, London, on March 29.

"This is not to say that we would be in complete lockdown for six months," Harries said. “We must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living. That would be quite dangerous.”

If we were to continue life as normal, without being mindful of social distancing measures, which rules that people are to stay 2 meters from anyone who isn’t a member of their household, it’s likely that we’ll see a second wave of the virus.

"We will have a three-week review. Three weeks for review, two or three months to see whether we have really squashed it but about three to six months ideally, and lots of uncertainty in that, but then to see at which point we can actually get back to normal," Harries said.

The three-week lockdown in force across Britain sees the closure of non-essential shops, gyms and places of worship. Social events, which violate the rules of social distancing, such as weddings and christenings, have also been postponed. Johnson, who put the order in place, has allowed for funerals.

"Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope. There won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses," Johnson said.

As previously reported by Live Science, researchers at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Vaccine Group have begun recruiting 510 healthy 18-55 volunteers in an effort to locate a vaccine for COVID-19.

While it is unlikely that a vaccine for the virus will be available for several weeks, according to University of Oxford researchers, the trial is a "crucial step" in combating the virus.

National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 hotline: 111

For life-threatening emergencies: 999

Cases by local authority:

  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly: 436
  • Birmingham: 2,659
  • Plymouth: 246
  • Devon: 471
  • Torbay: 169
  • Somerset: 401
  • North Somerset: 183
  • Bath and North East Somerset: 201
  • City of Bristol: 571
  • Dorset: 275
  • South Gloucestershire: 304
  • Gloucestershire: 1,021
  • Wiltshire: 400
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: 389
  • Isle of Wight: 76
  • Hampshire: 2,371
  • Portsmouth: 238
  • West Berkshire: 256
  • West Sussex: 943
  • Brighton and Hove: 343
  • Surrey: 2,176
  • Reading: 369
  • Wokingham: 285
  • Bracknell Forest: 191
  • Windsor and Maidenhead: 206
  • Slough: 325
  • Buckinghamshire: 577
  • Hertfordshire: 1,996
  • Central Bedfordshire: 289
  • Sheffield: 1,751
  • Southwark: 1,126
  • Lambeth: 1,063
  • Brent: 1,310
  • Cumbria: 1,584
  • Wandsworth: 871
  • Croydon: 1,253
  • Ealing: 973
  • Essex: 2,069
  • Kent: 2,826
  • Harrow: 818
  • Lancashire: 2,305
  • Bromley: 998
  • Staffordshire: 1,405
  • Newham: 898
  • Lewisham: 854
  • Westminster: 570
  • Derbyshire: 987
  • Nottinghamshire: 946
  • Liverpool: 1,234
  • Waltham Forest: 677
  • Tower Hamlets: 578
  • Hillingdon: 667
  • Hackney and City of London: 596
  • Newcastle upon Tyne: 781
  • Greenwich: 587
  • Hounslow: 601
  • Wolverhampton: 640
  • Merton: 615
  • Kensington and Chelsea: 423
  • Oxfordshire: 1,314
  • Enfield: 755
  • Redbridge: 625
  • Hammersmith and Fulham: 504
  • Northamptonshire: 952
  • Islington: 387
  • Walsall: 753
  • Haringey: 509
  • Warwickshire: 955
  • Leicestershire: 776
  • Worcestershire: 985
  • Sandwell: 831
  • Buckinghamshire: 691
  • Dudley: 643
  • Norfolk: 1,169
  • Bexley: 581
  • Leeds: 1,049
  • Camden: 537
  • Barnet: 1,170
  • Derby: 423
  • Havering: 587
  • Barking and Dagenham: 445
  • Richmond upon Thames: 347
  • Sutton: 609
  • Manchester: 929
  • Cambridgeshire: 603
  • North Yorkshire: 718
  • Salford: 503
  • Oldham: 509
  • Coventry: 567
  • Devon: 594
  • County Durham: 1,071
  • Suffolk: 814
  • Nottingham: 448
  • Milton Keynes: 403
  • Stockport: 699
  • Solihull: 476
  • Trafford: 504
  • Sunderland: 1,026
  • Barnsley: 590
  • Shropshire: 398
  • Rochdale: 358
  • Lincolnshire: 712
  • Slough: 115
  • Medway: 548
  • Portsmouth: 155
  • Kirklees: 466
  • North Tyneside: 412
  • Rotherham: 537
  • Luton: 548
  • Southampton: 398
  • Northumberland: 668
  • Leicester: 545
  • Bradford: 726
  • Tameside: 394
  • Wakefield: 441
  • Cheshire East: 689
  • Central Bedfordshire: 421
  • Bury: 369
  • Sefton: 699
  • Wirral: 847
  • Wigan: 505
  • Gateshead: 668
  • St. Helens: 510
  • Doncaster: 326
  • Bolton: 698
  • Cheshire West and Chester: 634
  • East Sussex: 479
  • Stockton-on-Tees: 280
  • Thurrock: 244
  • West Berkshire: 188
  • Telford and Wrekin: 205
  • Calderdale: 204
  • East Riding of Yorkshire: 412
  • Redcar and Cleveland: 239
  • Bedford: 381
  • Knowsley: 440
  • Middlesbrough: 427
  • Stoke-on-Trent: 345
  • Southend-on-Sea: 266
  • South Tyneside: 425
  • North Tyneside: 242
  • York: 209
  • Swindon: 307
  • Reading: 79
  • County of Herefordshire: 175
  • Peterborough: 171
  • Warrington: 497
  • Halton: 283
  • Blackpool: 353
  • Darlington: 208
  • North East Lincolnshire: 109
  • North Lincolnshire: 244
  • Blackburn with Darwen: 281
  • Hartlepool: 113
  • City of Kingston upon Hull: 320
  • Kingston upon Thames: 401
  • Rutland: 13
  • Total: 114,456

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