Up to 10,000 people in the UK could already be infected with coronavirus, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned.
Earlier, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged world governments to urgently scale up their response to the pandemic.
His appeal echoed the one by the World Health Organisation yesterday, which blamed the spread and severity of the pandemic on what it described as “alarming levels of inaction”.
“We can still change the course of this pandemic but that means addressing inaction,” he said. “I call on every government to step up and scale up their efforts – now.”
“The best science tells us, if countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilise their people in the response, we can go a long way to mitigating transmission.”
The number of fresh infections at the epicentre of China’s coronavirus epidemic dropped to a new low on today but the country imported more cases from abroad.
Another 11 people died, the lowest daily increase since late January, bringing the toll in China to 3,169 deaths, according to China’s National Health Commission.
There were only eight new cases in Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged in December before growing into a national crisis and a pandemic.
It is the first time that new cases in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, have fallen to single-digits since figures started to be reported in January.
With cases falling dramatically in recent weeks, authorities this week began to loosen some restrictions on Hubei’s 56 million people, who have been under quarantine since late January.