Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed the number of cases of the coronavirus in the UK has now soared to 36. The Prime Minister during a visit to a PHE centre in North London, warned COVID-19 is “likely to spread a bit more” but reassured the public he was “very, very confident” the “fantastic” NHS was able to tackle the disease. Mr Johnson said: “As you know, we’ve found about 35 people in this country who have, or have had, the illness.
“And clearly there may be more, that’s likely to spread a bit more, and it’s vital therefore that people understand that we do have a great plan, a plan to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
“And I am very, very confident that in the NHS we have the professionals who will be well able to cope with it.”
This evening the Scottish Government confirmed it has received its first case of the Coronavirus, increasing the total number of infections today to 13 and the 36th overall.
The first person in Scotland to be diagnosed is a Tayside resident who recently travelled from Italy – the worst-affected country in Europe.
Three of the latest cases diagnosed in the UK on Sunday are family members of a man from Surrey who tested positive on Friday.
Earlier today the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the department was outlining a new “battle plan” and Mr Johnson said the Government is considering its strategy in regards to public events and schools.
The Prime Minister who will chair and emergency Cobra meeting on Monday said the country has the resources and the testing facilities to tackle the virus.
Mr Johnson added: “But you can imagine that, obviously, there will be questions that we’ll need to consider about very big public events, that kind of thing, how should schools continue to operate.
“My view is that they should as far as possible and I don’t want kids being sent home unnecessarily, we think that’s where, that’s certainly where Public Health England is at the moment.
“I think that’s the right thing. I think the crucial thing for the public to understand is coronavirus is of concern, it is a novel illness, but it’s something this country really amply has the resources to deal with.
“We have state of the art testing facilities, we have a fantastic NHS. We will have to get through this, but believe me we are going to beat it.”
“But 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.”
The coronavirus has infected more than 87,00 people across 67 different countries.
In China, almost 80,000 people have been infected and a total of 2,870 have died.
Published at Sun, 01 Mar 2020 20:47:00 +0000