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14 Mar 2020 | 11:48 PM UTC

UK: Health officials confirm over 1100 cases of COVID-19 March 14 /update 2

Health officials confirmed 1140 cases of COVID-19 and 21 associated fatalities as of March 14; further spread of the virus expected

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GBR

Event

Officials at Public Health England (PHE) have confirmed 1140 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and 21 associated fatalities as of 09:00 (local time) on Saturday, March 14. The government is expected to limit public gatherings in the coming days. 

British Airways has temporarily canceled its flights to and from Italy as of Tuesday, March 10. The airline has offered individuals who have booked travel between London and Italy up to April 4 to refund their ticket or rebook onto another flight for later travel.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.