Yesterday the Prime Minister chaired an emergency COBR meeting and updated the British people on the Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle Covid-19.
- It’s clear that Covid-19 will continue to spread over the next few months. We’ve done what can be done to contain this disease and this has bought us valuable time.
- We should be clear – this is the worst public health crisis for a generation and it will spread further. As the Prime Minister said many more families will lose loved ones before their time. But we have a clear plan that we are now working through and we are now moving to the next phase in that plan.
- We want to delay the spread of the virus and thereby minimise the suffering. If we delay the peak even by a few weeks, then our NHS will be in a stronger state and our society will be better able to cope. That means deploying defences to the virus at the right time to maximise their effect.
- The most important task is to protect our elderly and most vulnerable people when there is the maximum risk of exposure to the disease and when the NHS will be under the most pressure.
Moving forward with our plan:
- From today, if you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild – either a new continuous cough or a high temperature – then you should stay at home for at least 7 days to protect others and help slow the spread of the disease. There is clear guidance HERE on how to best do this.
- The Government also advises all those over 70 and those with serious medical conditions against going on cruises.
- The Government advises against international school trips.
- The new NHS site is now the best place for clear advice for people with early symptoms of coronavirus. The Government urges people with symptoms to self-isolate, and use this site instead of calling 111.
At all stages, we have been guided by the science, and we will do the right thing at the right time.
We will do all we can to help the elderly and more vulnerable as this virus is particularly dangerous for them. For the vast majority of people this will be a mild to moderate illness.
We’re not just going to be supporting the economy during this period, we will be providing money and many other forms of support, and helping communities to support each other.
There is no escaping the reality that these measures will cause severe disruption across our country for many months. But the best scientific advice is that this will help us slow the disease and save lives.
But the two most important messages are that it remains vital to wash our hands and of course even if things seem tough now, we will get through this, this country will get through this just as we have got through many tougher experiences. If we look out for each other and commit wholeheartedly to a full national effort.
For more information about the plan for dealing with Covid-19, click HERE.