Britons may be forced to put their lives on hold for three months under the governments new ‘battle plan’ to combat Coronavirus.
The plan would see troops on the streets, police ignoring minor crime and patients being kicked out of hospitals as the government warn that the virus could incapacitate a fifth of the UK’s workforce.
NHS England has now also declared coronavirus a level four incident ,the highest level of emergency after two more people tested positive for the virus.
The Mail Online reports: Boris Johnson today set out the Government’s blueprint to deal with a mass outbreak of the bug that includes a raft of socially and economically costly contingency moves as a last resort.
events could be axed and a ‘social distancing’ strategy would see
people encouraged to work from home to avoid unnecessary travel, while
an army of NHS volunteers could be recruited to help ease the burden on
the health service.
As the number
of confirmed UK cases passed 50, it revealed police could ignore
low-level crime and troops could be deployed on the streets if officers
are incapacitated through illness.
patients not suffering from the disease could also be sent home to free
up beds, and local authorities will be helped with the ‘challenge’ of
dealing with increasing numbers of deaths among the elderly and
These measures could be in place of up to 12 weeks in a bid to contain the spread of the virus and treat those affected.
striking scenario emerged as Boris Johnson published the action plan,
warning at a press conference that it was now ‘highly likely’ there
would be a major outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.
The threat was underlined this afternoon as it emerged the number of confirmed cases has jumped from 39 to 51 in the past day.
PM said the government would take all ‘necessary and reasonable steps’,
but appealed for the public to keep ‘going about our business as
Asked whether he thought the UK still had the ‘bulldog spirit’ to combat the virus, the premier said: ‘I do think that this is a national challenge. The potential is there for this to be something that our country has to get through.
The report stresses that the response is still in the ‘containment’ phase, with just 39 confirmed cases in this country so far. But expert fear that they will have to shift to ‘delay’ tactics – effectively damage limitation – within days or weeks after a rising infections across Europe.
A reasonable ‘worst case scenario’ would see 80 per cent of the UK population contract the virus, with up to a fifth of employees unable to work in ‘peak weeks’. Such an outbreak could take hold within weeks, and it would be three months before its highest point was reached.
Scientists are still hoping that if rapid spread can be staved off until the summer warmer weather will help, but are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of avoiding a major outbreak in the UK.
The 28-page ‘action plan’ published by the government today was agreed at the first emergency Cobra meeting to be chaired by the PM yesterday.