Coronavirus has now infected 114,217 people in the UK and lockdown conditions have been extended for a further three weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently recovering from the virus in his country home, Chequers.
In total as of Saturday evening, infections globally totalled 2,271,322 people and 158,779 have died.
Countries are on lockdown to prevent further spread, and the UK is said to be nearing its peak of the virus.
In the UK, lockdown measures have been extended for a further three weeks.
In the UK, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from the illness, said: “Any change to our social distancing measures now would risk a significant increase in the spread of the virus.”
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Mr Raab added relaxing rules could cause a “second peak” which would risk increasing deaths “substantially”.
Ministers agreed the need to prolong social distancing measures following meetings of the Cabinet and the Government’s emergency committee Cobra, amid signs the epidemic in the UK is beginning to peak.
In the UK at the time of writing, cases of coronavirus had reached more than 114,000.
The country with the highest number of cases is the United States, with 722,924 infections to date.
But how do you catch coronavirus? Can you get COVID-19 through your ears?
The coronavirus – known officially as COVID-19 – is a virus that affects the lungs and airways causing coughing, high temperature and shortness of breath.
The more extreme cases can see pneumonia and even death, with more than 158,000 having died globally.
As COVID-19 is a new virus, experts are not yet sure exactly how it spreads from person to person.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is believed coronavirus is spread mostly through person to person contact within about a six-foot radius.
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Viral particles from the virus can be spread through coughing or sneezing, with the particles landing in the mouths or noses of those nearby.
There is also the possibility the virus can be caught through touching a surface on which the virus has recently landed, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
However, the CDC believes this is a less common method of transmission.
Some variants of coronavirus can live on surfaces for days, but it is unknown if COVID-19 is one of these.
Cleaning surfaces with bleach, ethanol or hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners can kill off virus particles which land on surfaces.
So far there is no evidence to say a person can catch COVID-19 through their ears.
Surgeons are being advised “not to risk their health” by working without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) amid fears that hospitals could run out of supplies.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) said it was “deeply disturbed” that medics could be asked to reuse items or wear different kit when treating COVID-19 patients.
Healthcare staff treating positive patients have been given guidance that they should wear long-sleeved disposable fluid-repellent gowns but, because of shortages, they have just been advised they could be asked to reuse PPE or wear aprons.
The fear from medics comes as more than 15,000 patients have now died in hospital after testing positive for the disease in the UK, with thousands more deaths expected in care homes.
Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, told a Downing Street briefing that it was “absolutely critical above everything else” that supplies were delivered to the front line so the guidance on wearing gowns could be followed.
“I know Government is working incredibly hard to get those procurements in as you have heard,” he said on Saturday.
“But what I hear from my clinical colleagues is that what they need is PPE delivered to the front line to follow the guidance that was agreed with them two weeks ago.”
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