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Coronavirus UK map: How many confirmed cases are there in your area? Coronavirus UK map: How many confirmed cases are there in your area?
(1 day later)
There have been almost 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and almost 41,000 people have lost their lives, government figures show. There have been more than 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and just over 41,000 people have lost their lives, government figures show.
However, these numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is likely to be higher.However, these numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is likely to be higher.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which counts death certificates mentioning the virus, suggests deaths had reached more than 50,000 by 29 May.The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which counts death certificates mentioning the virus, suggests deaths had reached more than 50,000 by 29 May.
When looking at deaths over and above the expected number by this time of year, the toll rises to more than 63,700 by the same date.When looking at deaths over and above the expected number by this time of year, the toll rises to more than 63,700 by the same date.
Some of these deaths are likely to include people with undiagnosed coronavirus or those who died as an indirect result of the pandemic.Some of these deaths are likely to include people with undiagnosed coronavirus or those who died as an indirect result of the pandemic.
Coronavirus accounted for about 18% of all deaths in the UK in the week to 29 May, according to death registration data - a drop from 21% the previous week.Coronavirus accounted for about 18% of all deaths in the UK in the week to 29 May, according to death registration data - a drop from 21% the previous week.
In the week to 17 April, when deaths from the virus reached their peak, this figure was just under 40%.In the week to 17 April, when deaths from the virus reached their peak, this figure was just under 40%.
Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:
If you can't see the look-up click here.If you can't see the look-up click here.
Downward trend in daily deaths continuesDownward trend in daily deaths continues
The new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths only began to increase significantly by the second half of March.The new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths only began to increase significantly by the second half of March.
The UK has the highest official death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world. However, the government and many experts say it is too soon to make international comparisons.The UK has the highest official death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world. However, the government and many experts say it is too soon to make international comparisons.
On Tuesday, the government announced a further 286 deaths - a significant increase on Monday's total of 55, which was the lowest since the beginning of lockdown on 23 March. But, as the chart shows, deaths have often been higher on Tuesdays reflecting the delay in reporting at weekends. On Wednesday, the government announced a further 245 deaths, down on yesterday's total of 286, but significantly higher than Monday's figure of 55 - the lowest since the beginning of lockdown on 23 March.
The majority of the UK's deaths have been in England, with 36,521 so far - about 90% of the total for the UK. Weekend death tolls are generally lower due to reporting delays.
In Scotland, the official government figure for deaths is 2,422, but data on death registrations from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) suggests it had reached nearly 4,000 by 31 May. The majority of the UK's deaths have been in England, with 36,750 so far - about 90% of the total for the UK.
In Wales, the death toll stands at 1,410 while there have been 537 deaths in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the official government figure for deaths is 2,434, but data on death registrations from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) suggests it had reached nearly 4,000 by 31 May.
There were no new deaths reported for the third day running in Northern Ireland on Tuesday. Scotland reported an increase of seven after two days of no new deaths - this is probably due to the lag in reporting deaths at weekends. In Wales, the death toll stands at 1,419 while there have been 537 deaths in Northern Ireland.
There were no new deaths reported for the fourth day running in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.
This week's figures from the ONS show the overall death total in the UK for the week to 29 May has fallen again, and is now approaching the normal range for the time of year.This week's figures from the ONS show the overall death total in the UK for the week to 29 May has fallen again, and is now approaching the normal range for the time of year.
Research by Public Health England (PHE) has found that people from ethnic minorities have a disproportionately higher risk of dying from coronavirus than people of white British ethnicity. But it is still not clear why - the study did not look at occupations or obesity, which are also known to be high risk factors.Research by Public Health England (PHE) has found that people from ethnic minorities have a disproportionately higher risk of dying from coronavirus than people of white British ethnicity. But it is still not clear why - the study did not look at occupations or obesity, which are also known to be high risk factors.
Most recorded coronavirus deaths have been among the elderly, with NHS England figures showing more than half of deaths have been among people aged over 80.Most recorded coronavirus deaths have been among the elderly, with NHS England figures showing more than half of deaths have been among people aged over 80.
On Monday, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the formation of a new coronavirus social care taskforce. It will aim to stop the spread of the virus among care home residents and people who receive care in their homes.
What is the R number in the UK?What is the R number in the UK?
The "R number" is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.The "R number" is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.
If R is below one then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.If R is below one then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as Sage, believes the R number across the whole of the UK is currently between 0.7 and 0.9.The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as Sage, believes the R number across the whole of the UK is currently between 0.7 and 0.9.
That estimate is the same for Scotland and Northern Ireland, while it is between 0.7 and 1.0 in England and Wales.That estimate is the same for Scotland and Northern Ireland, while it is between 0.7 and 1.0 in England and Wales.
However, new research produced by PHE and Cambridge University's MRC Biostatistics Unit suggests the R number has increased across England in recent weeks.However, new research produced by PHE and Cambridge University's MRC Biostatistics Unit suggests the R number has increased across England in recent weeks.
The model found it is highly likely that R remains below 1 in most regions, but said it is at 1 in the South West and just above 1 in the North West.The model found it is highly likely that R remains below 1 in most regions, but said it is at 1 in the South West and just above 1 in the North West.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England's medical director, said an increase was "to be expected as we gradually move out of lockdown."Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England's medical director, said an increase was "to be expected as we gradually move out of lockdown."
Sage's estimate for the UK figure is based on several different models, including those produced by PHE and Cambridge. Each uses different methods and assumptions and gives a different set of regional values for R.Sage's estimate for the UK figure is based on several different models, including those produced by PHE and Cambridge. Each uses different methods and assumptions and gives a different set of regional values for R.
The government has said that the R number is one of the most important factors in deciding when lockdown measures can be eased.The government has said that the R number is one of the most important factors in deciding when lockdown measures can be eased.
New cases also continue to fallNew cases also continue to fall
The number of newly confirmed cases each day has been falling since a peak in April, despite an increase in the number of tests being carried out, and the seven-day rolling average shows a clear downward trend.The number of newly confirmed cases each day has been falling since a peak in April, despite an increase in the number of tests being carried out, and the seven-day rolling average shows a clear downward trend.
A further 1,387 cases were announced on Tuesday. A further 1,003 cases were announced on Wednesday.
However, estimates by the ONS suggest there could be nearly 6,000 cases per day in England alone - not including cases in hospitals or care homes - where people either show no symptoms or have mild symptoms and are not tested for the virus.However, estimates by the ONS suggest there could be nearly 6,000 cases per day in England alone - not including cases in hospitals or care homes - where people either show no symptoms or have mild symptoms and are not tested for the virus.
Speaking at the government's Wednesday briefing, Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance said that new cases were "on the way down" but "not yet very low".
"The epidemic is shrinking, but not fast," he added, suggesting this means moving "very carefully" out of lockdown.
Cases were originally concentrated in London, the Midlands and the North West, but Wales and parts of Scotland and the North East of England have also seen a high proportions of cases.Cases were originally concentrated in London, the Midlands and the North West, but Wales and parts of Scotland and the North East of England have also seen a high proportions of cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has raised the possibility that there could be "local lockdowns" in the future to control the spread of the virus.Health Secretary Matt Hancock has raised the possibility that there could be "local lockdowns" in the future to control the spread of the virus.
Hospitals seeing fewer coronavirus patientsHospitals seeing fewer coronavirus patients
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has been gradually declining since a peak over Easter.The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has been gradually declining since a peak over Easter.
On Tuesday, the government said the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had fallen to 6,348 - down from 7,622 at the same time last week.On Tuesday, the government said the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had fallen to 6,348 - down from 7,622 at the same time last week.
However, the picture is different across the UK's nations and regions, with numbers falling faster in some areas than others.However, the picture is different across the UK's nations and regions, with numbers falling faster in some areas than others.
Testing now available to more peopleTesting now available to more people
The UK has exceeded its target to increase testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May, the government has said.The UK has exceeded its target to increase testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May, the government has said.
However, the UK Statistics Authority has criticised how the data has been presented, saying the aim appears to be to show "the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding".However, the UK Statistics Authority has criticised how the data has been presented, saying the aim appears to be to show "the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding".
Mr Hancock says he is looking at ways the information could be "improved".Mr Hancock says he is looking at ways the information could be "improved".
There were 102,930 tests in the 24 hours to 09:00 on Tuesday, according to government figures. There were 170,379 tests in the 24 hours to 09:00 on Wednesday, according to government figures.
At least two million people have been tested for coronavirus - but the government has been unable to provide an updated figure for the number of people tested in recent days. At least two million people have been tested for coronavirus - but the government has been unable to provide an updated figure for the number of people for some time.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to come forward for tests if they are showing symptoms.
Increased testing is essential for the government's "test and trace" strategy.