Boris Johnson is expected to tell an emergency COBRA meeting on coronavirus that tackling the outbreak requires a “national and international effort”, following the UK’s third death linked to the illness.
The government’s coronavirus plan, published last week, included suggestions such as social distancing and increased home working at the milder end of the spectrum, to cancelling mass-attendance events and cutting back on essential police and fire services at the more extreme end.
The UK saw its biggest one-day increase in coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 69 new cases confirmed. A man in his 60s, who had underlying health problems, became the third patient to die after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK. The man, who died at North Manchester general hospital, had recently returned from Italy, NHS England said.
As the government prepared emergency legislation to allow some court proceedings to be heard by phone or video, GPs warned that hospitals would have to cut back on work not related to coronavirus in order to tackle the outbreak.
Ahead of the Cobra meeting, Johnson insisted the UK was “well-prepared and will continue to make decisions to protect the public based on the latest scientific advice”. “Tackling coronavirus will require a national and international effort. I am confident the British people are ready to play their part in that,” he said. “The most valuable thing people can do is wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.”