The UK is preparing for a “very significant expansion” in the number of coronavirus cases, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson .
The number of cases of the deadly bug rose to 39 in the UK yesterday.
Ministers are now drawing up a “battle plan” to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, which is due to be released today.
As part of the plan, companies may be ordered to halt all “unnecessary travel” in their “social distancing” strategy.
As part of the social distancing strategy it is believed Brits will be encouraged to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel.
The government won’t force businesses to make employees work from home or monitor their travel, but they will be encouraged.
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This will be done in the hope of delaying the peak of the coronavirus outbreak until summer.
The doomsday, or worst case scenario plans, show 80% of the population may get the virus – with 500,000 deaths.
Mr Johnson said: “It is highly likely coronavirus will spread more widely in the coming days and weeks, which is why we’re making every possible preparation.
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“We have agreed a plan, which I will set out in detail today, so if the virus should spread, we are ready to take necessary steps to contain it and protect the most vulnerable.
“But we can all continue to do our bit to fight the virus – by washing our hands with soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.”
The Prime Minister also said that the government will today be setting out their battle plan.
The plan will inform the public on details on measures like closing schools and banning mass gatherings.
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Mr Johnson will be joined by the Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance in a press conference today.
Meanwhile, some companies, such as Twitter, have already sent their employees to work from home.
In a blog post, the social media company said it was “strongly encouraging” all of its 5,000 employees around the world not to come into work.
Twitter’s head of human resources Jennifer Christie said: “Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus for us – and the world around us.”
- Boris Johnson
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