Number of coronavirus cases in the UK rises to 29,474 – as death toll reaches 2,352

Number of coronavirus cases in the UK rises to 29,474 – as death toll reaches 2,352
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 2,352, according to Public Health.

The Department of Health and Social Care also revealed that there were 29,474 confirmed cases of the virus.

A statement from the government department read: As of 9am 1 April, a total of 152,979 people have been tested of which 29,474 tested positive.

“As of 5pm on 31 March, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 2,352 have sadly died.”

The jump of 563 is the largest recorded by the UK to date.

13-year-old with no underlying health issues becomes youngest victim

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, a 13-year-old boy from London with no apparent underlying health conditions died after testing positive for coronavirus, his family said.

He tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day after he was admitted to King’s College Hospital, his family said.

A spokesman for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

Coronavirus
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