The latest coronavirus news in Bucks and beyond: A week in the grip of a pandemic

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As coronavirus continues to spread around the world, 45 people are currently known to have tested positive in Buckinghamshire, not including Milton Keynes.

Across the country, 8,077 are confirmed to have contracted the disease, but as only priority cases are being tested it is suspected that the true number is far higher.

422 people have died from coronavirus in the UK since 5 March. Globally, the number of dead has reached 17,480. At least 401,098 have contracted it.

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Last Wednesday, Stoke Mandeville Hospital revealed that two of their patients had died from coronavirus. Two more died at Wycombe Hospital.

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In response to the public health emergency, Buckinghamshire NHS Trust has taken the decision to move all clinically appropriate outpatient appointments to a non-face-to-face setting.

This is to support the national lockdown and means patients can avoid unnecessary journeys at the current time, reducing their chance of infection.

In a letter to the public, Buckinghamshire Shadow Executive leader Martin Tett wrote: “These are difficult and very challenging times. This makes it even more important that we come together to support each other.”

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He continued: “As the impact of coronavirus increases, we may need to make some temporary changes to some services. This is so we can protect people from infection and use our staff and resources where they are most needed.”

World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus symptoms graphicWorld Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus symptoms graphic
World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus symptoms graphic

Updates will be available on the council's website

Nationally, the UK Government revealed last week that it would be closing schools, pubs, restaurants and gyms, from Friday night.

In a further move on Monday, the Prime Minister announced steps that will restrict our freedoms like never before.

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Boris Johnson said that groups of more than two people are now banned in public, and that people must only leave their house to shop “infrequently” or to exercise once a day. Police will have the power to fine those who break these rules.

Mr Johnson also added to the list of places that will be closing, saying all non-essential shops, such as clothes shops, will now have to shut, as well as libraries and places of worship.

Meanwhile, in order to tackle the economic hardship that many will face due to the lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week unveiled what he called "unprecedented measures for unprecedented times."

Mr Sunak said that the Government will cover 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month for retained workers, and has committed almost £1 billion of support for renters.

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There is however concern that self-employed people have been forgotten in these measures since their wages are not being guaranteed and so many may be forced to live on the £94.25 a week Universal Credit payment.