Johnson puts United Kingdom in lockdown in Coronavirus U-turn

17 Mars, 2020, 00:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Johnson puts United Kingdom in lockdown in Coronavirus U-turn

"Without drastic action, cases could double every five or six days".

"From tomorrow, we will no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers in the way that we normally do", he added, and further advised Britons against attending large scale public events.

The UK was now approaching "the fast growth part of the upward curve" of coronavirus cases, the prime minister said in a dramatic public address, the first of what are planned to be daily press conferences on the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom has risen to 1,543, up from 1,372 the day before, the health ministry said on Monday.

The point about self-quarantine was reiterated by the government's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, who spoke after the prime minister to say: "If one person in the household has symptoms, the whole household stays at home".

"It's important that Londoners now pay special attention to what we're saying about non-essential contact and to take particularly seriously the advice about working from home and avoiding confined spaces such as pubs and restaurants".

He said restrictions will remain in place for some time. Britain's goal is to slow the spread of the infection so the country's overstretched National Health Service is not overwhelmed, while protecting those most at risk of serious illness - the elderly and people with serious health problems.

So far, 36 people in the United Kingdom have died from the virus.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and most recover.

"How many people have had it and been asymptomatic, that is the biggest unknown worldwide". Over 78,000 people have recovered, a lot of them in China. Ridership on trains and the London Underground is down by a fifth as some businesses ask staff to work from home.

A shutdown of the West End and other theatres around the country is also likely.

Supermarkets have been stripped of staples including toilet paper, pasta and rice as shoppers ignore government appeals not to hoard supplies.

"We stressed right from the beginning, it's going to be a marathon not a sprint".

Amid criticism over a lack of transparency, Downing Street has announced plans to hold daily televised press conferences - starting today, Monday - so either the PM or a senior minister can face scrutiny.

The prime minister added that the government was asking for "very substantial change in the way we want people to lead their lives", adding it was "unprecedented" in peacetime.

Over the last few days, I have been comparing notes and talking to leaders around the world and I can tell you that the United Kingdom is now leading a growing global campaign amongst all our friends and allies, whether in the G7, the G20, the UN, the International Monetary Fund - all those bodies in which we play a significant role.

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