Coronavirus UK map: How many confirmed cases are there in your area?

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There have been more than 279,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and almost 40,000 people have lost their lives, government figures show.

However, these numbers only include people who have been tested, and the total number of deaths relating to coronavirus is likely to be higher.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which counts death certificates mentioning the virus, suggests deaths had reached more than 48,000 by 22 May.

When looking at deaths over and above the expected number by this time of year, the toll rises to almost 62,000 by the same date.

Some of these deaths are likely to include people with undiagnosed coronavirus or those who died as an indirect result of the pandemic.

Coronavirus accounted for about 21% of all deaths in the UK in the week to 22 May, according to death registration data.

In the week to 17 April, when deaths from the virus reached their peak, this figure was just under 40%.

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Fall in UK daily deaths has slowed

The new coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, was first confirmed in the UK at the end of January, but the number of daily confirmed cases and related deaths only began to increase significantly by the second half of March.

The UK has the highest official death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world. However, the government and many experts say it is too soon to make international comparisons.

On Wednesday, the government announced a further 359 deaths.

Although daily deaths have decreased, the downwards trend appears to have stalled in recent days.

The majority of the UK's deaths have been in England, with more than 35,000 so far - about 90% of the total for the UK.

In Scotland, the official government figure for deaths is 2,386, but data on death registrations from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) suggests it had reached nearly 3,911 by 31 May.

In Wales, the death toll stands at 1,371 while there have been 534 deaths in Northern Ireland.

This week's figures from the ONS show the overall death total for the week to 22 May had fallen, but was still above normal for the time of year.

Most recorded coronavirus deaths have been among the elderly, with NHS England figures showing more than half of deaths have been among people aged over 80.

New research released by Public Health England on Tuesday found that people from ethnic minorities have a disproportionately higher risk of dying from coronavirus than people of white British ethnicity. But it is still not clear why - the study did not look at occupations or obesity which are also known to be high risk factors.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the report as "troubling" at a time when people across the world were "angry about racial injustice".

The report said age was still one of most significant risk factors. It found people aged 80 or older were 70 times more likely to die than those under 40.

About 25% of all coronavirus related deaths have been among care home residents, according to the ONS, but the latest data suggests that has now stabilised.

What is the R number in the UK?

The latest infection rate, or "R number", for the UK as a whole sits between 0.7 and 0.9, according to the Sage group of advisors.

This number, the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to, has remained steady for two weeks.

If R is below one then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

The government has said that the R number is one of the most important factors in deciding when lockdown measures can be eased.

Public Health England estimates the number in England to be 0.72-0.77.

In Scotland and Wales, the estimate is between 0.7 and 1.0, and in Northern Ireland it is between 0.8 and 0.9.

New cases continuing downward trend

The number of newly confirmed cases each day has been falling since a peak in April, despite an increase in the number of tests being carried out, and the seven-day rolling average shows a clear downward trend.

A further 1,871 cases were announced on Wednesday - compared with 1,613 announced on Tuesday.

However estimates by the ONS suggest there could be 8,000 cases per day in England alone - not including cases in hospitals or care homes - where people either show no symptoms or have mild symptoms and are not tested for the virus.

Cases were originally concentrated in London, the Midlands and the North West, but Wales and parts of the North East have also had a high proportions of cases.

Going forward, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has raised the possibility that there could be "local lockdowns" to control the spread of the virus.

Hospitals seeing fewer coronavirus patients

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has been gradually declining since a peak over Easter.

On Wednesday, the government said the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had fallen to 7,485 - a drop from 8,921 the same time last week.

However, the picture is different across the UK's nations and regions, with numbers falling faster in some areas than others.

How many confirmed cases are there in your area?

Testing now available to more people

The UK has exceeded its target to increase testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May, the government has said.

However, the UK Statistics Authority has criticised the way the government has presented the numbers - saying the aim appears to be to show "the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding".

Mr Hancock says he is looking at ways the information could be "improved".

On Wednesday, the government said 171,829 tests had been recorded in the past 24 hours and these include test kits sent to individuals or to testing locations but not yet returned or analysed.

At least two million people have been tested for coronavirus - but the government has been unable to provide an updated figure for the number of people tested for more than a week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to come forward for tests if they start showing symptoms. If people are not tested, they may not be isolating and their contacts cannot be traced.

In England and Wales, children and adults of all ages displaying symptoms can now have a test to determine whether they currently have the virus. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can only get a test for your child if they are aged five or over.

All residents and staff in care homes in England, and patients and staff in the NHS can book tests regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Increased testing is essential for the government's "test and trace" strategy, which launched in England and Scotland last week.

Northern Ireland has its own approach up and running and Wales' system was launched on Monday.

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