CORONAVIRUS: UK latest updates on the outbreak as Boris Johnson goes live

The NHS could be “overwhelmed” by the coronavirus pandemic in a similar fashion to Italy unless the population makes a “collective national effort to slow the spread” of coronavirus. Prime minister Boris Johnson has warned.

“The numbers are very stark, and they are accelerating. We are only a matter of weeks, two or three, behind Italy,” he said. Military planners have also been called in to help with localised support systems to ensure vulnerable people self-isolating at home can have basic groceries and healthcare delivered.

Robert Jenrick, MP announces that the NHS will be contacting those who are vulnerable in the coming days, to ensure that they are staying at home, with an estimated 1.5million, which includes people with specific cancers, transplants and with other underlying health conditions

“If you are one of these people I want to reassure you… you are not alone,” he says.

The people that fall within this category will be told not to leave home at all, with no face to face contact for 12 weeks.

Mr Jenrick confirmed people living with one of the 1.5 million most vulnerable will not have to follow the same strict guidelines.

Carers – formal and informal – can continue to visit but must follow guidelines from Public Health England.

For those without a care network close by, a major national effort will create a support system – including pharmacists, supermarkets and local authorities.

Food parcels, for example, will be left on the doorstep.

Mr Johnson said that the shielding of around 1.5 million vulnerable people will do more than many other measures to reduce the number of coronavirus cases in the UK.

He says it is crucial that people understand that tomorrow the schools are closed for almost all families.

And he said that, while he wants people to enjoy outdoor spaces, people must follow social distancing advice.

“Don’t think that fresh air in itself provides some sort of immunity,” he says.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants to thank the country for the collective effort, NHS workers, people in social care, and those who work in supermarkets for keeping Britain going.

He adds he wants to thank those who did not visit their mothers on Mothering Sunday.

When answering questions, Mr Johnson says, that they will be keeping parks and open spaces open for people’s mental wellbeing, who require fresh air and exercise, but to be careful by following the government guidelines with social distancing.

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Samantha Day

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