Coronavirus UK news live: Latest updates
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has reached 1,950 – up 407 in the past 24 hours and a rise of 26%.
The huge increase in the number of infections takes the country to 1,950 positive cases, while more than 50,000 people have now been tested for the virus, as of 9am on Tuesday (March 17).
The number of cases increased by 407 from 1,543 on Monday (March 16), when Londoners were told by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the spread of the virus in the capital was “weeks ahead” of the rest of the country.
While all Britons have been asked to work from home where possible and avoid going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and other social areas, the former Mayor of London said his words were targeted to Londoners who must practice extra care to avoid the virus spreading further.
Londoners have taken the advice seriously, leading to deserted trains on the London Underground and rail network, while the West End’s world-famous theatres have also closed.
But while some schools are still closed during the pandemic, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the government Sir Patrick Vallance said closing all schools remained an option that was on the table to curb the spread of coronavirus.
He admitted to MPs on Tuesday that closing schools “would have an effect” but less so than other interventions and “it has all sorts of complicated effects as well”, including potentially leading to children being looked after by grandparents.
It would also cause an “enormous problem” for the workforce, including in the NHS.