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UK: COVID-19 outbreak to worsen: PM

29th Mar 2020
UK: COVID-19 outbreak to worsen: PM

By Hasan Esen

LONDON (AA): UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will send every household in the country a letter to warn that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to worsen, the government said in a statement on Sunday.

“It’s important for me to level with you — we know things will get worse before they get better. But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal,” Johnson said in the letter, which will be sent to 30 million households across the U.K. this week.

Stressing that the country has sought to institute the right measures at the right time from the beginning of the outbreak, he said: “We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do.”

“We must slow the spread of the disease, and reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment in order to save as many lives as possible,” he said, urging people to stay at home, to ease the burden od the National Health Service (NHS) and save lives.

The letter, which will be sent next week, will urge 30 million households to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

“At this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” Johnson wrote.

He is reminding people not to meet friends of relatives who do not live with them in their homes.

“You should not meet friends or relatives who do not live in your home,” and “you may only leave your home for very limited purposes, such as buying food and medicine, exercising once a day and seeking medical attention. You can travel to and from work but should work from home if you can.

When you do have to leave your home, you should ensure, When you do have to leave your home, you should ensure, wherever possible, that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.”

Alongside the letter, residents will receive a leaflet outlining the Government’s advice, with clear explanations of symptoms, hand washing guidance, rules on leaving the house, self-isolating with symptoms and shielding vulnerable people.

The leaflet contains UK-wide information as well as directions about where to access online guidance specific to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The letter campaign is expected to cost £5.8m to print and distribute,

On Friday, Johnson, 55, tested positive for the coronavirus and began self-isolating.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also tested positive for Covid-19 – shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he had.

The death toll in the U.K. has reached 1,019, while the number of confirmed cases is 17,312.

Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections over 665,000 mark with over 30,800 deaths. More than 140,200 have recovered from infections.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China in December, the virus has spread to 177 countries and regions.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

Additional report by Ahmed J Versi of The Muslim News

[Photo: UK PM Boris Johnson speaking at the last PMQs before Parliamentary recess for Easter on March 18. As you can see there are very few MPs to ensure that is 2m distance between each MP to protect against Coronavirus.Credit: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament]

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