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New case of coronavirus in east of England as UK count rises to 319

PUBLISHED: 14:26 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:37 09 March 2020

Hand sanitisers at the entrance to the QEII Centre in London. It comes as coronavirus cases in the east of England rise to 11. Picture Philip Toscano/PA Wire.

Hand sanitisers at the entrance to the QEII Centre in London. It comes as coronavirus cases in the east of England rise to 11. Picture Philip Toscano/PA Wire.

The number of positive coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to 319.

As of 9am today, a total of 24,960 people have been tested for the virus with 24,641 negative results and 319 positive, an increase of 46 on the previous day.

Four people have died as a result of the virus.

In the East of England the number of positive cases has risen by one to 24 in the region.

The figures cover the NHS region of Norfolk and Waveney, Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes, Hertfordshire, West Essex, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Mid and South Essex, Suffolk and North East Essex.

Figures for local authorities from Public Health England will be released in due course, so far no cases have been confirmed in Norfolk.

Public Health England (PHE) has said it will continue to trace close contacts of anybody diagnosed with Covid-19 in the containment phase, advising them to self-isolate at home to delay the spread of the virus.

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Moving to the next delay stage would mean that social distancing measures - such as restricting public gatherings and more widespread advice to stay at home - could be brought in.

READ MORE: More than a million people seek online NHS advice

Last week, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty told MPs the UK was mainly moving towards the delay phase of its strategy to tackle coronavirus.

And deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said over the weekend the UK was 'teetering on the edge' of sustained transmission.

Following Monday's Cobra meeting hosted by Boris Johnson, First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster said the UK remains in the containment phase.

Speaking on the steps of the Cabinet Office, she said decisions to postpone major public and sporting events would be 'led by the scientific advisers', adding: 'We're still in the containment phase.'

The Government's scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) is expected to meet on Tuesday.

Earlier, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said cancelling sports events and shutting museums and galleries due to coronavirus would be 'premature'.

- Join our Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group to keep up to date with how the coronavirus is affecting Norfolk.

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