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Everything we know about coronavirus in the UK so far

Here’s what we know…

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So far there have been 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 12 more people testing positive over the weekend, and a further four today.

That includes one person in Greater Manchester, with the man from Bury immediately self-isolating after returning from Italy – it’s being reported he visited Milan. 

According to Bury council’s director for public health Lesley Jones he was ‘quickly’ tested, and has now been transferred to a specialist hospital in London.

All of his close contacts are being tested for the virus, but health officials reportedly won’t confirm what date he returned to the UK or which airport he used.

Besides the case in Bury, two people from Leeds who had been to Iran and one person from Bradford who had travelled to Italy tested positive for coronavirus. 

The Scottish government also confirmed its first case yesterday, saying the patient was receiving treatment in hospital in isolation.

Three of the new cases down south were close contacts of the man from Surrey who tested positive on Friday, and were ‘part of an adult family cluster’, Public Health England said.

China News Service

According to the Guardian, as of today, March 2nd, coronavirus has affected an estimated 87,000 people globally, with 44,462 (56%) of the 80,026 confirmed cases in mainland China having recovered and 2,912 (3.6%) dying.

As it stands, at least 30 countries have been affected by coronavirus, with South Korea (4,212 cases and 22 deaths), Italy (1,100 cases and 29 deaths) and Japan (850 cases and four deaths) worst affected.

Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, France, and the US have also reported deaths, while there have been no fatalities in the UK to date.

China News Service

People who have fallen ill from it have reported feeling flu-like symptoms, including a fever, a cough and breathing difficulties, while in some cases it can cause pneumonia – in very severe instances there can be organ failure.

Regular antibiotics won’t help, as it’s viral, and the antiviral flu drugs we already have don’t work. If you contract coronavirus your recovery depends on your immune system’s strength, and many of those who have died were already in poor health (it appears to hit older people hardest, with few cases in children).

It’s currently unclear how dangerous it is, but the mortality rate is roughly 2% in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, and less elsewhere. To compare, seasonal flu usually has a mortality rate below 1% (around 400,000 annual deaths across the world), and Sars had a death rate of more than 10%.


To help stop the spread of the virus, the NHS recommends covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, immediately putting used tissues in the bin, washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.

If you’ve recently travelled from areas affected by coronavirus, the current UK medical advice is to call NHS 111 to inform them of your travel and stay indoors and avoid contact with people.

For more advice on coronavirus head over to the NHS site here, and for full travel advice to UK nationals visit the government site here.

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Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day

‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’

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AlienFood/Wikimedia & Austin Kirk/Flickr

A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.

According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.

The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.

According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.

The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.

Daniel Juřena / Flickr

Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.

Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.

In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”

They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.

AlienFood / Wikimedia

The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”

He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”

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Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules

Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes

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Jaggery / Geograph

A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.

Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.

According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.

The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.



They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.

The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.

A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.

The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.

Jaggery / Geograph

However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.

The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.

Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.

“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.

“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today

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Michael Garnett / Flickr

Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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