Covid-19 has spread across the UK – find out how many cases there have been in your area
Covid-19 reached the UK in late January and the country endured a three-month long lockdown from March 23 to get the virus under control.
Every region of the UK has been affected, with London facing the biggest peak when coronavirus first arrived in England.
Despite falling cases nationwide, on June 29 Leicester became the first city in Britain to be plunged back into lockdown after public health officials expressed alarm at a significant rise in positive Covid-19 tests.
Since then, a number of regions have reentered lockdown following a spike in cases, as the virus threatens a second wave.
People in Greater Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn, Preston and other areas are currently banned from holding indoor meetings involving people from different households. Bolton and Caerphilly have recently introduced additional restrictions for residents, after official figures showed a spike in cases.
The Telegraph’s map below plots where all official cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK. It is sourced from Public Health England announcements and updated regularly based on trustworthy data.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the number of confirmed UK cases has passed 365,000, while the total number of deaths is more than 41,600.
Public Health England releases a daily update on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in each English county.
Using The Telegraph’s Coronavirus Live Tracker, you can follow the disease’s spread, the latest information on symptoms, and the UK’s rate of growth.
Type your postcode into the tool below to find out how many cases there have been in your local area and whether they are rising or falling.
From the outbreak of the virus, the NHS was hit by a number of critical issues:
PPE: When the virus erupted in Britain, NHS workers complained that a shortage of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) put them at risk. Some staff were forced to wear bin bags as makeshift protection.
The Government was criticised for shipping millions of pieces of PPE to Europe, despite the shortage, and for purchasing a massive quantity of masks and gowns, bought from factories in China and Turkey, that were found to fall below UK standards. Calls for an inquiry the Government’s procurement process mounted after it emerged the taxpayer had spent an “eye-watering” £15 billion on PPE.
Ventilators: At the start of the outbreak, the Government ordered 8,000 ventilators, used to treat severely ill Covid-19 patients, with a promise that the first batch would be in hospitals by April. By June 10, only about 5,000 new ventilators had been delivered to the NHS and ministers decided that hospitals had a sufficient supply.
Derek Hill, of University College London, was a member of the Independent Regulatory Advisory Group which examined new designs of ventilators. He said the Government wasted time trying to develop entirely new machines. “It was trying to reinvent the wheel thinking it would be quicker,” Mr Hill said. “They misunderstood the complexity of these devices and the risk from the start. For novel designs it was pretty obvious they did not meet the clinical need and would take a long time to get through the regulatory process.”
Care homes: The Government’s strategy to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with coronavirus cases led to elderly people being discharged from hospitals back into care homes, to clear space in wards. This was done without testing for infection, despite the risk of transmission. It emerged that Public Health England had warned the Government about doing this in February, and officials were criticised for not testing patients before they were transferred, despite repeated warnings from care home managers that it was seeding infections among the most vulnerable.
Contact tracing: The UK was much-criticised for abandoning contact tracing on March 13 while other countries, which have achieved a lower death toll, continued to trace contacts and cut off routes of transmission for the virus. The UK’s first attempt at a contact tracing app was abandoned in May, after an unsuccessful trial on the Isle of Wight. Scotland and Northern Ireland currently have their own independent apps, while the latest version of the England and Wales app is expected to launch in late September.
NHS deaths and staff shortages: A number of doctors, nurses and NHS staff died from coronavirus. At the height of the outbreak, many NHS staff were sick or forced to quarantine because of suspected exposure. MPs were told in July that hospitals had failed to test their workers for coronavirus because they feared having to send too many of them home, when almost half were infected at the peak of the pandemic. In March, anticipating a shortage of NHS staff, Health Secretary Matt Hancock launched a call for a UK “army” of 750,000 volunteers. Many medical students joined the efforts, and retired doctors and nurses came back to work to fight the virus.
Non-Covid cases: A combination of lockdown, people’s fear of the pandemic and prioritising emergency capacity means that there is now a tremendous NHS case backlog. Particularly affected are routine operations and cancer treatments, with some hospitals described as being “at a stand-still”.
On March 23, Boris Johnson placed the UK on a police-enforced lockdown with drastic measures in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The Prime Minister ordered people only to leave their homes under a list of “very limited purposes”, banning mass gatherings and ordering the closure of non-essential shops.
Mr Johnson announced his phase two strategy on Sunday May 10, outlining a gradual easing of the restrictions, rather than a wholesale lifting of the lockdown. However, reaction to his speech was fierce, with many accusing the Prime Minister of confusing the British public.
On Monday May 11 Mr Johnson published his “roadmap” to leave lockdown, setting out a three-phase strategy to gradually lift the current restrictions.
Mr Johnson later announced on Thursday May 28 that the five tests to ease lockdown had been met, confirming that gatherings of up to six people could take place in outdoor spaces from Monday June 1.
On June 23 – exactly three months after the country was put into lockdown – Mr Johnson hailed the beginning of the end of Britain’s “national hibernation”.
The Prime Minister allowed families and friends to mingle indoors and even go on holiday together from Saturday, July 4. This day, which became known as Super Saturday, also saw pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen, as the two metre social distancing rule was reduced to one metre.
But Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, warned that many of new social distancing measures would have to remain in place “until this time next year” because a coronavirus vaccine is still a long way off.
On Friday July 17, Mr Johnson set out his roadmap for ending lockdown, which allowed remaining leisure facilities to reopen and all beauty treatments to resume from August 1. Mr Johnson also relaxed official guidance advising people to “work from home if you can” in a bid to restart the economy.
The government is keen to avoid another blanket lockdown. However, preventing a national lockdown will depend on whether or not there is a second wave of the virus and how effectively the Government can respond if the infection rate rises quickly in multiple areas of the UK.
From Monday, September 14, gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England. The Government has introduced these tough new measures to combat a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates.
At the end of December, the Chinese authorities sent out a public alert warning that a “pneumonia of unknown cause” had been identified in Wuhan, central China.
Some 10 days later, on January 7 2020, scientists announced that a new coronavirus was the source of the outbreak – quickly adding that it did not appear to be spreading between humans.
At that point, fewer than 60 cases had been found. The UK’s first confirmed cases were diagnosed on January 31, tourists in York, although a number of people had fallen ill with Covid-like symptoms earlier in the year after returning from abroad..
The virus, since given the name SARS-CoV-2, has spread to well over 180 countries, infecting more than 28.4 million people with the disease Covid-19 and killing more than 905,000. Scientists believe that the virus has mutated into two strains based on differentiation of the protein “Spike” that gives the virus its distinctive “crown” shape. An “L-type” variation currently accounts for around 70 per cent of cases, displacing the older “S-type”. It is a matter of scientific debate whether this means the newer variant is more infectious, while vaccine developers believe that new treatments will be effective against both current strains.
This map, which updates automatically, shows where the disease is now, how many cases there have been and how many people have died:
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United Kingdom, Coronavirus
World news – GB – UK Covid-19 cases and deaths: how the UK is coping with a second wave