Latest key points about coronavirus in the UK
As the UK’s fight against coronavirus is set to dramatically escalate, here is a look at how things stand on Sunday March 15.
– The UK death toll from Covid-19 has risen from 11 to 21, with 20 deaths in England and one in Scotland.
– There have been 1,140 positive tests for coronavirus as of 9am on Saturday, up from 798 at the same time on Friday.
– Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that elderly people will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months as part of the plan to tackle the virus.
– There could also be a shift to household isolation rather than individual self-isolation.
– Coronavirus testing will be prioritised for those most at risk of severe illness from the disease.
– Public Health England (PHE) said people in the community with a fever or cough do not usually need testing.
– Mr Hancock confirmed that ministers were seeking to give police powers to arrest and forcibly quarantine people who are sick with the virus but are not self-isolating.
– He said a Bill setting out emergency powers to deal with the outbreak will be published on Thursday, and details of what the powers will include will be shared on Tuesday.
– Prime Minister Boris Johnson will personally urge manufacturers to shift their production lines to build ventilators, with Mr Hancock saying the NHS needs ventilators now more than anything else.
– Negotiations are also taking place with private health firms about access to their hospital beds.
– Whitehall sources have already indicated that mass gatherings could be banned from next weekend.
– Other measures, including school closures, have also been considered as an option to combat the spread of the virus.
– US President Donald Trump, who has tested negative for the virus, announced the extension of his travel restrictions to cover the UK and Ireland, with changes coming in at midnight on Monday night in the eastern US.
– Following the US travel ban, the Foreign Office has advised against “all but essential travel” to the US.