The UK’s new coronavirus measures in numbersNachelle Geronimo
The UK’s new coronavirus measures in numbers.
Crunching the data behind the government’s new approach to tackling the crisis
Pub-goers watch Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Sir Patrick Vallance give a press conference on coronavirus. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters
On Monday the government ramped up its coronavirus measures, advising greater social distancing and warning the disease was “approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve”.
The new measures included advice to avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres. The prime minister also said avoiding unnecessary social contact was particularly important for pregnant women, the over-70s, and those with underlying health conditions that could make them more vulnerable to the virus.
There are 8.8 million people in the UK aged 70 or over, according to the Office of National Statistics. They account for 13% of the total population. In some local authorities, such as North Norfolk and Rother, the 70+ population is as high as 24%.
Older people are believed to be at greater risk of dying from coronavirus. According to figures from the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who studied cases from Wuhan, people in their 70s have a mortality rate of 8%. For those aged 80 and older this rises to almost 15%.
People with health conditions
The government are advising those with certain medical conditions to be “particularly stringent” in following social distancing measures set out yesterday.
It is difficult to get an accurate figure for the number of people with these health conditions: some people may not yet have been diagnosed and some individuals may have more than one condition meaning any figures are ballpark and cannot simply be added together.
Diabetes UK are warning people with the condition that they are at an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Figures released in February show that 3.9 million people in the UK have been diagnosed by diabetes. However, the organisation estimates that just short of 1 million more people could have the condition without realising it bringing the total figure to 4.8m.
According to the Asthma Society, 5.4 million people are being treated for the condition in the UK of who 200,000 have severe asthma. People in this subgroup are being advised that they have a higher risk of complications arising from coronavirus.
Cancer UK estimates that 367,167 people are newly diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year while Macmillan Cancer Support puts the number who have had a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives at 2.9 million.
Pregnant women are also being strongly advised to practice social distancing, significantly limiting their face-to-face interaction with friends and even family if possible, advice which the government says is likely to be in place “for some weeks”.
It is difficult to estimate how many women will be pregnant at any one time, in England and Wales combined, there were 657,000 births in 2018 and a further 2,689 stillbirths in the same period.
Pubs, clubs, theatres
Advice to avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres will have a huge impact on the economy and cause havoc for workers employed in these industries.
As of 2018, there were around 39,000 pubs in the UK and a further 7,600 licensed clubs. Between them they employ more than half a million workers.
There are 840 cinemas in the UK, according to data from the UK Cinema association, and this industry employs more than 21,000 people.
Unite, a union which represents hospitality workers called for a comprehensive financial support package for the thousands of workers who could lose their livelihoods.
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