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Coronavirus has hit the UK hard, with the country recording hundreds of thousands of cases and over 60,000 deaths linked to the disease. England faced Europe’s highest excess death levels during the first wave of the pandemic.
The government figures below include confirmed cases only – some people who have the disease are not tested.
At the start of the pandemic, London bore the brunt of coronavirus’s impact. Since then, however, the centre of the virus shifted northwards and to areas in Northern Ireland. Everyday life in the UK has been subject to varying degrees of restriction since March, and various lockdowns currently apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These regulations are set by the legislative body in each nation so there are local differences. There may also be extra measures in place at local authority level.
How is the disease progressing in the UK?
Cases in the UK first peaked in early April, before beginning to fall from May to early July. Since August, however, daily cases have risen once again and the UK is now in the grip of a second wave. Numbers passed the earlier peak in September and have continued to rise in October and November – although some of this can be attributed to increased testing and targeted testing in coronavirus outbreak areas.
The number of people in hospital with coronavirus rose sharply after records started at the end of March, peaking in April. That figure has now been rising again since September.
Deaths were at their highest during the first peak of cases, with over 1,000 daily deaths seen on some days in April. They started to once again increase in October, following the earlier rise in cases.
How much of the second wave is due to more testing?
Some of the sharp rise in cases can be attributed to increased testing. Many more tests were done in autumn than during the first wave in the spring.
In March and April, there were relatively few tests available and these were given to people with severe symptoms – mainly in hospitals. Most people with milder symptoms were not tested, so these cases were not recorded, meaning the actual number is likely to have been much higher. Sir Patrick Vallance has said the daily case number may have been over 100,000 on some days in the first wave.
During the start of the second wave in September, more tests were available and the majority of people took tests in the community. This means that people with milder symptoms were being tested and recorded in the official figures. The real number of cases will still be higher than the recorded count, but the testing will be picking up a greater proportion of the total.
However, given Covid-19’s potential for exponential growth, the shape of the cases curve is critically important, and the effect of increased cases can be seen in the hospitalisation and mortality curves above.
In the table below, you can find out the number of cases per 100,000 in your area, both for the last week and since the start of the pandemic.
About this data
This data comes comes from Public Health England, working with devolved authorities in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Differences in data collection and publishing schedules may lead to temporary inconsistencies.
3 and 4 October cases totals include cases from previous days published late owing to a technical fault.
Since first being identified as a new coronavirus strain in Wuhan, China, late last year, Covid-19 has spread around the globe.
The virus can cause pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. You can find out more about the symptoms here.
There are things you can do, such as wearing a face mask, to protect yourself and slow the spread of the virus. Chief among them are regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, and catching coughs and sneezes in tissues.
Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as well as possible. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.
Source: The Guardian
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