Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bucks rises to 23

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Buckinghamshire has risen to 23 late on Tuesday, after initially being revised down earlier in the day.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 10:44 pm

It seemed inevitable that this would be the case after it was revealed that there had been 407 new cases confirmed across the UK in the past 24 hours - one of largest increases anywhere in the world. The death toll in the UK also rose to 71.

The numbers for Buckinghamshire do not include Milton Keynes.

There are 1,950 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 10:30pm, Tuesday, 17 March.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

file image

Globally, there are 197,970 confirmed cases of coronavirus and there have been 7,958 deaths.

On Monday evening, Bucks County Council (BCC) was able to confirm that the elections for the new Unitary Council due to take place on 7 May will be postponed until 2021, but the move to a new single council will still go ahead.

A spokesperson for BCC said: “The new council will launch on 1 April as planned, replacing the current councils in Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Chiltern District Council, Wycombe District Council, South Bucks District Council).

“We can confirm that elections to the new Buckinghamshire Council have been postponed, along with all UK May elections, until May 2021. We are actively discussing with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government what the options are for the political oversight and governance arrangements for the year ahead for the new Buckinghamshire Council. We expect that these arrangements will be outlined by government later this week.”

World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus symptoms graphic

On Tuesday, Public Health England South East provided their most up to date health advice.

Dr Alison Barnett, Centre Director for Public Health England South East, said: “Public Health England continues to work with health colleagues and local authorities across the South East to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our latest advice is, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started. The most common symptoms are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher).

“For most people, coronavirus will be a mild infection and following this advice will help protect communities and slow the spread of the virus. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, then you should contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

“As we now transition into the ‘delay’ phase, we will prioritise tests for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness – while continuing to investigate outbreaks, for example where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as a school or care home.”

On Monday evening, at the first of what will now be daily press briefings on the Government's coronavirus response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people should now work from home whenever possible and asked the public to stop going to pubs, restaurants and theatres.

However, unlike every other country in Europe, the UK Government has refrained from closing schools.

At the weekend, a letter signed by 229 scientists, was sent to the Government criticising their plans to delay social distancing, stating, “we believe that additional and more restrictive measures should be taken immediately.”

The actual number of cases in the UK is currently estimated to be around 50,000. As highlighted above by PHE, the UK will prioritise testing for those who are critically ill. So far, around 44,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK, far behind some other countries such as South Korea and Italy.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a virtual press conference on Monday: “We have a simple message for all countries: Test, test, test. Test every suspected case."

He added: "All countries should be able to test all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded; they should know where the cases are.”

To minimise your risk of catching coronavirus the NHS advises the following:

- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

- always wash your hands when you get home or into work

- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

- 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 wash your hands afterwards

- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean