ON the evening on March 23, prime minster Boris Johnson imposed a nation-wide lockdown on the UK in a bid to fight the coronavirus.

But just how did the nation get to that point, and what’s happened in Dorset since?

The first cases of the virus came at the end of January in the north.

In Dorset, the first cases came on March 9. These were two cases both in the BCP Council area. The first case in the Dorset Council area came five days later.

As of April 8, there were 127 confirmed cases in the BCP area and 136 in the Dorset Council area.

The first death in Dorset was on March 21. A 72-year-old woman passed away at the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

As of April 9, there have been 56 deaths in the county in total.

20 of those have come at The Royal Bournemouth or Christchurch Hospitals (RBCH), 18 at Poole Hospital, 12 at Dorset County Hospital and four at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.

Nationally, over 7,000 people have died after contracting the virus.

Visiting at RBCH was suspended on March 25 “until further notice”.

However, there are exceptional circumstances where one visitor is allowed.

These include; if the patient is receiving end-of-life care, the visitor is the birthing partner of someone in labour or the visitor is the parent or appropriate adult visiting their child.

The same restrictions are in place at Poole Hospital.

Clinical trials will take place for adults at Royal Bournemouth and Poole Hospital.

Patients with Covid-19 will be offered the opportunity to take part in the University of Oxford’s Recovery project which aims to identify the most effective treatments.

Martin Schuster-Bruce, an intensive care consultant at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said it was “incredibly encouraging” it had joined and that its first volunteers had already agreed to participate.

A number of companies and organisations across Dorset have made and donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals to help NHS staff working on the frontline.

Bryanston School in Blandford decided to use the school’s 3D printers and laser cutter to help make supplies for hospital and healthcare employees.

The school is sending their PPE to Blackmoorvale Surgery in Shaftesbury, who will then distribute equipment to doctors and nurses, as well as GP doing home visits and other medical staff.

A building company based in Ringwood has donated 600 masks to the NHS through an initiative lead by Hampshire Fire and Rescue service.

Banbury Builders found the masks in their stores and donated them on Monday.

Managing director, Paul Lucas, said: “If it encourages other companies to do the same it is a good thing.”

Finally, since the lockdown, Bournemouth has been quiet.

Apart from a few joggers and walkers, the beach has been relatively empty on weekends despite the good weather and the town centre was almost deserted.