In the UK, there are more than 17,000 confirmed cases and at least 1,019 people have died.
NHS England medical director Stephen Powis has warned that “every one of us has a part to play” if the UK is to keep the death toll under 20,000.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has himself tested positive for the virus, announced a clampdown on 23 March, urging people to stay at home to avoid unnecessary transmission of the disease.
Nearly 104,000 people have been tested for the virus but were found not to have it. The actual number of people with the respiratory infection in the country is estimated to be much higher.
Find out how many people have confirmed cases in your area:
The following charts and graphics will help you understand the situation in the UK and how the authorities are dealing with it.
1. UK cases climbing
The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January.
While there were a number of people testing positive throughout February, figures in the UK began to increase at the beginning of March.
Numbers are now increasing rapidly and Saturday saw daily confirmed cases jump by more than 2,500 compared with the previous day.
The number of deaths has also jumped to 1,019 from 759.
The new figures include a further 246 deaths in England, with patients aged between 33 and 100 years old. All of them had underlying health conditions except 13 people, who were aged 63 and over.
In Scotland, 40 people have died so far in total, while the figure in Wales is 38. Northern Ireland has seen a total of 15 deaths.
Frontline hospital staff in England, starting with hundreds of critical care doctors and nurses, will be tested to see whether they have coronavirus. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, health workers are already being tested.
The government has introduced a series of restrictions on people’s movement in a bid to slow the virus’s spread.
UK figures are currently lower than some other European countries, such as Italy, for example, where there have been more than 90,000 cases and more than 10,000 deaths.
Globally, authorities have confirmed more than 640,500 cases of the coronavirus and more than 29,800 deaths.
2. London has seen the most deaths
Most of the deaths in the UK have been in England, primarily in London, which has seen more than 5,299 cases.
London hospitals are facing a “tsunami” of coronavirus cases and are beginning to run out of intensive care beds, according to Chris Hopson, of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals. More than 246 people have died in London so far.
The ExCel exhibition centre in east London is being converted into a field hospital which could eventually hold up to 4,000 patients.
Two further temporary hospitals are planned: one at the NEC centre in Birmingham that will house 5,000 beds and another at the Convention Complex in Manchester, which will have 1,000 beds.
Work has also started to turn part of Birmingham Airport into a mortuary able to store at least 1,500 bodies, should the death toll rise significantly.
The Midlands is the second-worst affected region with 2,438 cases, while South West England has had only 649 by comparison.
Scotland has had 1,245 cases, Wales 1,093 and Northern Ireland 324.
3. We are in the second phase of the government’s response
The government’s action plan for dealing with the virus involves three phases – contain; delay; mitigate – alongside ongoing research.
After trying to contain the disease, the country moved to the “delay” phase on 12 March to stop the wider spread of the virus.
Even if you have no symptoms, the government says you should:
- Stay at home – only go out for essential shopping or medicines and to exercise once a day
- Stop all non-essential contact with others – public gatherings of more than two people are banned
- Stop all unnecessary travel – you can travel to work if absolutely necessary
- Work at home where possible
Police have been given powers to fine people deliberately flouting the restrictions, with increasing penalties for repeat offenders.
The government is now encouraging self-isolation at home for over 70s, and those more vulnerable to the virus, for 12 weeks.
British nationals should avoid all non-essential foreign travel to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the Foreign Office has advised.
Retired NHS staff have been asked to return to work. A government appeal for volunteers to help deliver food and medicine to the vulnerable has prompted more than 700,000 responses. The government originally set a target of 250,000 but increased it to 750,000 after a huge response.
4. People who think they have coronavirus should self-isolate
Symptoms include a high temperature and a “new, continuous” cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
If you think you have coronavirus you are advised not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, you stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people, you should keep at least 2m away from them and they should also stay home for 14 days to see if they develop symptoms.
If your symptoms persist or worsen you should contact the NHS’s dedicated 111 online coronavirus service or call 111.