Number of UK cases of coronavirus jumps to 115 –,

Number of UK cases of coronavirus jumps to 115 –,

Another 90 People have tested positive for coronavirus in hours, bringing the total number of UK cases to .

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed , people nationwide have been tested for coronavirus as of 9am today, with the number of infected patients going beyond for the first time. The revised toll comes after England’s top doctor said the UK’s battle with coronavirus has entered the next phase as it can no longer be contained.

Professor Chris Whitty said eight of the new cases contracted the virus in the UK, and a further had recently traveled back from coronavirus-hit countries.

He said he expects the number of confirmed cases ‘only to go up’ as he warned there was evidence of community transmission between people who had no connections to overseas cases or returning travellers.

The chief medical officer told MPs the UK is into the ‘delay phase’ of tackling coronavirus, meaning preventative measures will be ramped up to delay its spread.

Measures could include population distancing strategies, such as school closures, encouraging greater home working, and reducing the number of large-scale gatherings to slow the spread of the disease.

However, Prof Whitty said closing schools would possibly only have a ‘marginal effect’ as children do not appear to be as badly affected by Covid – 25 as other groups.

And he told MPs the UK is now ‘heavily planning’ for the mitigation phase.

Two cases were recorded in Liverpool, and another two in Greater Manchester today. It followed the closure of Garrett Hall Primary in Tyldesley, Wigan, this morning after a family at the school had contact with two confirmed cases of Covid – .

Scotland recorded three more cases this morning, bringing the country’s total to six. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said the new coronavirus patients are from the Fourth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Grampian areas and are all contacts of known cases.

In a statement, Dr Calderwood said: ‘Scotland is well equipped to deal with this kind of infection and we are doing everything we can to contain the virus at this stage and minimise the risk to the public.

‘Clinicians are now conducting contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places those who have tested positive visited and the people they have been in contact with.

‘Close contact involves either face-to-face contact or spending more than minutes within two meters of an infected person.

‘The risk is very low in situations where someone may have passed a patient on the street or in a shop. Health protection teams will contact those who are at risk from the current cases – those who are not contacted are not at risk. ’

Earlier today, Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, collapsed into administration. Coronavirus was blamed in part for a drop in demand following the outbreak.

The Department of Health and Social Care was criticized by experts and the public for deciding to weekly release not daily updates on the locations of new UK cases.

When asked by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt why the government is no longer providing daily information on locations, Prof Whitty said: ‘We had a bit of a communications fumble on this.’

He told the committee: ‘We are intending to provide geographical information – in fact, in the medium term we will provide a lot more information with maps and other things, with a proper dashboard as we gradually move into a phase where there are many more cases.

‘What we are, though, intending to do is have some delay – about hours – to be absolutely sure we’ve got the details right. ‘

On the spread of the virus, Prof Whitty said there would be ‘some risk of transmission’ from touching hand rails and hard surfaces for up to hours.

He added: ‘Just touching it will not give you the virus: it is if you touch it and then touch your face, having not washed your hands between them.

‘So, if you go on to the Tube and touch the rail, that’s fine, but just be aware of what you do with your hands – don’t touch your face, wash your hands, and then you can do what you like. ’

Prof Whitty warned that a vaccine is likely to take at least a year to develop.

Globally there are now more than 264, 06 cases, with 3, 09 deaths.

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