Number of coronavirus cases in the UK rises to 60,733 – as 938 more deaths are recorded

Number of coronavirus cases in the UK rises to 60,733 – as 938 more deaths are recorded
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways (Photo: Shutterstock)

The number of deaths in the UK linked to coronavirus currently stands at 7,097, according to Public Health.

The Department of Health and Social Care also revealed that there were 60,733 confirmed cases of the virus.

A statement from the government department read: As of 9am 8 April, 282,074 tests have concluded, with 14,682 tests on 7 April.

“232,708 people have been tested of which 60,733 tested positive. As of 5pm on 7 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 7,097 have sadly died.”

Lockdown measures could be extended

The news came as the First Minister of Wales Marcus Drakeford hinted that the UK would extend its lockdown.

The First Minister of Wales said stay-at-home measures would not end in Wales following the Easter weekend, with agreement on the nature of the extension to be announced in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Mr Drakeford confirmed plans to keep current measures in place during the second virtual Welsh Assembly plenary meeting held via video conference.

His announcement came as it was announced 33 more people had died after testing positive for coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of deaths in the country to 245.

A further 284 people who tested positive for Covid-19 took the number of confirmed cases to 4,073, though the true figure is likely to be higher.

These are the symptoms of coronavirus (Photo WHO)

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath – but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Government advice

As of Monday 16 March the government advised that everyone should be observing social distancing – avoiding unnecessary travel and working from home where possible. Anyone with a cough or cold symptoms now needs to self-isolate with their entire household for 14 days.

The government has now instructed bars, restaurants and theatres to close and will review on a ‘month to month’ basis. Schools closed from Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future, and exams have been cancelled.

The over 70s or anyone who is vulnerable or living with an underlying illness are being asked to be extra careful and stay at home to self-isolate.

For more information on government advice, please check their website.

Should I avoid public places?

The advice now is to avoid public places and any non-essential travel. Travel abroad is also being advised against for the next 30 days at least, and many European countries have closed their borders.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS