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 latest confirmed number of deaths will be announced later today. As it stands, there have been 56 reported deaths.

As of 9am on Tuesday 50,442 people were tested for coronavirus in the UK and 48,492 tested negative.

The latest figures come after the government ramped up measures against the coronavirus pandemic following new predictions that the UK could otherwise have seen 250,000 deaths.

A new document published by the COVID-19 team at London’s Imperial College – which is advising the government on its coronavirus response – warns the current public health threat is the most serious from a respiratory virus since the Spanish Flu in 1918.

They advised the UK adopts a strategy of epidemic suppression – for a period of potentially 18 months or more – rather than mitigation.

Modelling of the most effective mitigation strategy examined had revealed that NHS capacities could be exceeded by at least eightfold – and about 250,000 people could die.

The Imperial team described the suppression of the coronavirus outbreak as the only viable strategy at the current time – even if the social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a significant escalation of UK measures in response to coronavirus, including advising everyone in the country to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres and to only make essential journeys.

What is the latest coronavirus advice?

  • If you live alone and have a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, you should self-isolate for seven days
  • If you live in a household with others and have a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, both yourself and all others in your household should stay isolated together for 14 days
  • Everyone, including if you are not displaying symptoms yourself and live in a household where no one is displaying symptoms, should stop all unnecessary contact with others and all unnecessary travel
  • You should work from home where possible and avoid venues such as pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants
  • Pay particular attention to the advice if you are over 70, pregnant, have underlying health problems or live in London
  • Don’t call the NHS 111 helpline if you have mild or moderate illness and instead seek advice online. But do call if your illness becomes more severe.

Britons have been advised to avoid all non-essential foreign travel for 30 days as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the fast-changing international circumstances of the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 required changes to the official travel advice.

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The FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] will always consider the safety and the security of British nationals, so with immediate effect I’ve taken the decision to advise British nationals against non-essential travel globally for an initial period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review, he told MPs in the Commons.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide now stands at more than 185,000 and there are more than 7,300 deaths.

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(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: UK’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 1,950 – up 407 in 24 hours