Coronavirus live blog as it happened: Government discourages mass gatherings and encourages over 70s to avoid social contact

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 5:39 pm
Shoppers across the country have begun stockpiling household items over shortages fears (Getty Images)

Scroll down and read our coronavirus live blog as it happened.

Before you do that here are some articles offering practical advice

We will be providing live updates until 5pm

Coronavirus live blog, March 16

Last updated: Monday, 16 March, 2020, 18:09

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all entering lockdown tonight

The northeastern states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are all to enter lockdown later tonight. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that measures will include: crowd capacity reduced to 50; restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery only; gyms closed; movie theaters closed; casinos closed

Man in 50s dies in Salisbury

Salisbury District Hospital said a man in his fifties with underlying health conditions, who died on March 11, has tested positive for Covid-19.

"Sadly we can confirm a man who had been cared for at Salisbury Hospital and died here on 11th March has tested positive for Covid-19," the hospital said.

"The patient in his fifties had underlying health conditions. His family have been informed about the cause of death.

"Our thoughts are with the family."

Cases in Scotland rise

1,543 positive cases

There are 171 new positive cases of the coronavirus, according the Department of Health.

They said: "As of 9am on 16 March 2020, 44,105 people have been tested in the UK, of which 42,562 were confirmed negative and 1,543 were confirmed as positive."

Defence secretary: no plans for army to guard supermarkets

There are no plans for the Army to guard supermarkets, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.

During defence questions, Ben Wallace told MPs: "I have to say to the House that some of the media stories are entirely fictional.

"There is no Operation Hades, as was reported in one media.

"There absolutely no plans to send military personnel to guard supermarkets.

"However, despite trying to clarify that with the media, there is still an intention in some parts of the media to continue to write these stories.

"And indeed there is some suspicion about where some of these stories are developed."

21-year-old football coach becomes one of world's youngest victims

A Spanish football coach has become one of the youngest victims of the coronavirus, according to the Sun.

Francisco Garcia, 21, had been working with Malaga-based Atletico Portada Alta since 2016 and was the manager of their junior team.

Mr Garcia was taken to hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms and there was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia.

Head of WHO: "test, test, test

World Health Organizaion head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged world governments to carry out more tests on suspected cases. 

He said: "The most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission. And to do that, you must test and isolate. You cannot fight the fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic, if we don’t know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries Test, test, test. Test every suspected case."

Daily press conferences from PM and senior ministers

Number 10 have confirmed that there will be daily press conferences held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior ministers on the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is about to deliver the first of these...

Johnson: UK population must avoid all non-essential contact

Boris Johnson has warned that the UK are approaching the "fast growth" phase of the pandemic curve. 

Families are to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days if any members of the household are exhibitng symptoms of coronavirus. 

It is also time to move away from all non-essential contact with others. 

PM: Over 70s avoid unnecessary social contact

Johnson advises that over 70s are to avoid unnecessary social contact. 

Mr Johnson said by the weekend, groups particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 will be asked to stay at home for 12 weeks.

He said: "In a few days time, by this coming weekend it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12-weeks.

"Again, the reason for doing this in the next few days rather than earlier or later is that this is going to be very disruptive for people who have such conditions."

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