Coronavirus cases are continuing to pop up across the globe as countries focus on containing the virus. On Tuesday, the cases in the UK grew to 51 as 12 new diagnoses were made.
This came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a press conference on Tuesday revealing the UK’s strategy for tacking coronavirus.
Coronavirus – COVID-19 – is a virus which impacts the respiratory tract, causing coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and in extreme cases pneumonia and even death.
Around the world, there have been 92,269 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began in December 2019.
Of these, 48,439 have recovered, and 40,699 are still sick. There have been 3,131 deaths globally.
The majority of cases are in China, where the virus originated, however, more and more cases of coronavirus around the world are appearing each day.
Despite this, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast there was a “significant” risk of the virus becoming more widespread.
He said: “There may be things that we have to do down the line that we may not want to, but we will need the powers to do that, hence proposing emergency legislation.”
This emergency legislation could give Border Force officers extra powers and make it easier for retired medical staff to return to duty.
At the border, officials could get greater powers to act if they spot people with the virus.
The Prime Minister said: “It is necessary to have some legislation in respect of things like school operations, borders, quarantine but these are exceptional and short term.
“They are not intended to last beyond the outbreak.”
Will there be ‘no go zones’?
As part of the ‘delay’ phase of the Government’s four-step coronavirus strategy, there is the possibility of “population distancing strategies” like closing schools, pushing for more home working, and reducing large-scale gatherings.
In Italy, some areas in the north of the country are on lockdown, however, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Tuesday it seems unlikely Britain will lock down any cities to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the Government will keep all options open.
Mr Whitty spoke at the press conference alongside Mr Johnson and said: “Locking down a city is most useful when it is starting in one place with a high transmission in that place and nowhere else.
“It seems unlikely we will be in that situation in the medium to long term future but it is important that all the options are available to people.”
Are travel bans already in place?
Currently, there are no travel bans in place in the UK, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against travel to some areas.
The FCO travel advice cautions:
- advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.
- against all travel to the city of Daegu and all but essential travel to the city Cheongdo, in South Korea
- against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in the Lombardy region and 1 in the Veneto region of Italy
For those who are travelling to or returning from any of the above areas, the Government may advise a period of self-isolation.
You can learn more about self-isolation here.
Published at Tue, 03 Mar 2020 15:06:00 +0000