Swathes of Britain including cities and towns could be put on lockdown to try to stop the spread of coronavirus as Boris Johnson vowed to take charge of the Government response after being accused of acting like a ‘part-time Prime Minister’. After UK cases hit 36 yesterday – an increase of 23 since Friday – Mr Johnson will lead a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra this morning for the first time as he seeks to reassure the country he has got a grip on the crisis. The PM has acknowledged the figure would continue to increase in the coming days, despite frantic efforts to contain the spread of the virus, as he visited Public Health England’s testing lab in Colindale, London, yesterday. Ministers are set to agree a ‘battle plan’ and when asked about closing off cities to stop the illness spreading, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday: ‘We don’t take anything off the table at this stage because you have to make sure you have all the tools available if that is what is necessary.’ He confirmed that ‘population distancing measures’, such as banning public gatherings, cancelling football matches and encouraging people to avoid public transport, could also be considered. … Read full this story
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