LONDON — The U.K. has moved on to the next stage of its plan to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitting it could no longer be contained.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Johnson announced a package of social-distancing measures, warning that coronavirus will continue to spread “over the next few months.”
“Weve done what can be done to contain this disease, but this is now a global pandemic. Weve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation,” he said, adding that coronavirus is more dangerous than the regular flu because of the lack of immunity to the virus.
The British government has advised citizens to stay at home for seven days if they experience symptoms of coronavirus, however mild.
People over the age of 70 with serious medical conditions have been advised against going on cruises, and students should avoid international school trips.
The prime minister refused to shut down schools, saying this “would do more harm than good.” However, this decision will be kept under review, he added.
Johnson said the government is still considering whether to ban major public events, but the scientific advice so far is that this has “little effect on the spread.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon — who along with the leaders of Wales and Northern Ireland has been involved in planning for the outbreak — has taken a different tack, saying all mass gatherings of more than 500 should be canceled from next week. However, this was a decision taken to relieve pressure on the Scottish emergency services, rather than because of different scientific advice on the likelihood of slowing the spread.
Johnson defended the governments timing of the measures following pressure to step up action considerably. “The most dangerous period is not now but some weeks away depending on how fast it spreads,” he said.
The U.K.s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said the country is “on a trajectory that lookRead More – Source