Coronavirus update for Buckinghamshire
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Buckinghamshire has risen to 15 today (16 March).
This does not include cases in Milton Keynes, where there are now four confirmed cases, including an 83-year-old man who sadly died of the illness.
Public Health England are generally not releasing details of where in the county the cases are located, although we believe there was at least one case of a man in his early fifties from Aylesbury.
Last week we also reported that a number of people tested positive at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – that story is available here.
A total of 183,112 people are now known to have contracted coronavirus across the globe, of which 7,175 have died.
In the UK there have been 1,543 confirmed cases and 55 deaths from coronavirus.
On Friday and Saturday major events including Premier League football, the London Marathon and local elections were postponed due to the virus outbreak.
Bucks County Council have provided the following statement:
“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.”
Today the Government has announced that they will be holding daily press briefings to keep the public informed about their response to the pandemic, which came under significant criticism 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.”
Most major countries have now closed their schools, including those closest to the us, Ireland and France, but as of 16 March schools remain open in the UK.
However, at its first daily press briefing today, the Government slightly hardened its message on social distancing by advising the public to avoid pubs and restaurants, as well as asking people to work from home if possible.
The Government has said previously that it is likely that people over the age of 70 will soon be asked to stay at home to protect themselves.
To enable this, they also announced today that the planned scrapping of free TV licences for over-75s from the start of June will now be delayed until August.
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
For more advice visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/