Prime Minister gives coronavirus update

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held the first of his daily coronavirus briefings - here are the key points from his news conference.

  • The UK is approaching the "fast growth part of the upward curve" in the coronavirus outbreak
  • Without "drastic action", cases could double every five to six days 
  • The government is asking for people to begin avoiding all unnecessary social contact 
  • Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days
  • People should start working from home where they possibly can 
  • Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
  • The government has the power to close these places down "if necessary" but PM doesn't believe they will need to be used 
  • Pregnant women must take extra social distancing measures 
  • Stop 'unnecessary' visits to care homes 
  • People with 'moderate' or 'mild' symptoms should not phone 111 
  • Only use the NHS when we really need to 
  • From tomorrow (Tuesday), the government will no longer be "supporting" mass gatherings using emergency workers
  • It "may be necessary" to think about school closures but only "at the right stage", says UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance 
  • The UK's overall and single aim is to reduce deaths from the spread of the coronavirus, says chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty
  • The government is working to reduce the "overall effect" on the NHS as there will also be a "significant number" of other non-virus related deaths as a result of hospitals being "overwhelmed"
  • The UK is three weeks behind Italy rather than four as previously thought 


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