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Day 3: Key points from Prime Minister's speech

Posted on March 2020 By Jamie Southwell

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The British PM, Boris Johnson, is making his third daily public appearance to help address issues the public may fear to be facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly before Johnson began his speech at Downing Street, Gavin Williamson, the UK's Education Secretary, informed us that schools will indeed be shutting down from Friday onward.

Among Boris on stage is Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's science chief, and Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer. It's without certainty when this will end, but we could soon see a national lock down to the increasing rise of cases daily. Johnson reiterates his point of "Avoid all unneccesary gatherings, pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants," a point which further alludes to the idea that we'll soon see all social gatherings being closed off.

Key points to take away from today's speech are:

  • Dr Harries has told us there's an "ambition" for people to have the ability to test themselves for it at home. There's no promise as to when we'll be able to, but with the government issuing a minimum of 25,000+ tests daily now, we could see it within the near future. "As we go forward, it is very much an ambition to have a home-based tests as we don't want infectious people arriving in hospital."

  • English schools are set to close for almost all children on Friday until further notice, as Williamson says it's becoming increasingly more difficult for schools to remain open during this time due to lack of staff. The exception to this is children of 'key workers'such as NHS staff, but this also applies to the most vulnerable pupils.

  • Children shouldn't be left with older relatives, so even if you're child is out of school, you're advised to keep them out of way of anyone who would be considered most at risk.

  • 'We will protect renters' as Boris Johnson says he'll "be bringing forward legislation which will help renters and prevent them from suffering no-fault evictions, that kind of thing."

As of today, the United Kingdom has now hit a total of 2,626 patients, after hitting just 2,000 yesterday. The death toll is also continuing to rise with it now surpassing 100, this might begin to slow down as more people are being tested daily and the current figure for that stands at 56,221. Earlier today, The World Health Organisation held their own press conference, in which they officially confirmed we've now entered into 200,000 global cases, with majority (80% of cases) having occured in Europe and the Western Pacific region.

To read a brief summary of last night's points and important measures click here.

Here's the full conference, courtesy of HuffPost UK: