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19 Apr 2020 | 09:09 PM UTC

UK: Authorities confirm over 16,000 COVID-19 deaths as of April 19 /update 19

UK health authorities confirm more than 16,000 deaths associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of April 19; further spread of the virus is expected in the near term



UK health authorities confirmed 16,060 coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths as of Sunday, April 19, including 120,067 cases of the virus nationwide. The death toll, which rose by 596 in 24 hours, is the smallest increase of deaths in almost two weeks.

Meanwhile, an ongoing lockdown in the UK will remain in place for at least three weeks from Thursday, April 17. The stay-at-home measures were originally introduced on Monday, March 23. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instructed British citizens to only leave their homes to shop for necessities, engage in one form of exercise per day alone or with members of one's household, satisfy medical needs (i.e. to provide care or help an individual vulnerable to COVID-19), and to travel to and from work when teleworking is not possible. Johnson cautioned that police forces may issue fines and disperse gatherings of people refusing to adhere to the orders.

All nonessential businesses and public venues have been ordered to close, while public gatherings of more than two people have been prohibited (excluding people living together). All social events have also been canceled, excluding funerals.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.


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 trouble 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.


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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.