Britain enters into phase two of coronavirus plan
Health officials have said that the UK has now entered into the “delay” phase of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
This follows an increase in the number of cases in the UK, doubling from 51 to 116 in the space of two days. Of all known cases in the UK, some 25 are in London.
Professor Chris Whitty, the country’s chief medical advisor, said that we have now moved into the “delay” phase in order to slow the spread of the virus across the country.
He continued that it was “highly likely” some cases in the UK will have no connection to an overseas case.
The official spokesman for the prime minister said that it is "now highly likely that the virus is going to spread in a significant way".
Professor Whitty said that of the 116 known cases, at least 25 occurred in England.
In eight of the new cases it is not clear how patients contracted the virus. This takes the total number of patients who have the disease but had not recently been abroad to 13.
In a meeting with the health and social care committee, Whitty announced that the majority of the country was now in the second phase of the four part plan to cope with the virus, however, that elements of the first phase were still being used.
Boris Johnson announced that he felt preventing big gatherings and closing schools "don't work as well perhaps as people think in stopping the spread".
On This Morning, he said that: "One of the theories is perhaps you could take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease to move through the population without really taking as many draconian measures. I think we need to strike a balance."
He continued that for the "overwhelming majority" of those in the UK, it would be "business as usual".
No. 10 have said a formal statement will be made when the country moves from the contain to the delay stage of the virus.