MILLIONS of Brits are being sent home from work as firms try to cut the spread of coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said that people should stay at home for seven days if they have a mild cough or temperature.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
But some big companies are taking it a step further, such as Twitter which has banned staff from offices.
And others are doing “trial runs” for when there is a full shutdown, as there has been Italy.
Those measures could come in to force in the UK early next week on what is being dubbed “Flu Monday.”
Meanwhile, panic buying yesterday hit online grocers — as shoppers again cleared supermarket shelves.
Ocado’s website crashed in the morning. Customers trying to log on were greeted with a pop-up message telling users “don’t panic”.
Asda’s site went down for a short while. And Tesco delivery slots have sold out days in advance.
Supermarkets have been struggling to keep up with demand as shoppers rush to stockpile pasta, hand soaps, nappies and tinned foods.
But department stores were deserted — with Harrods almost completely empty.
People are staying away from central London if they can — with hardly anyone visiting Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook began telling workers in some parts of America to work from home earlier this week. They are set to do the same in the UK.
On Sunday, Apple chief executive Tim Cook asked employees at several of its global offices to work remotely this week “if your job allows”.
Some universities are switching to online lectures next week.
Durham University, the London School of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan and London Metropolitan announced the plans yesterday.
Cambridge University is cancelling some end of year exams for medical students as it will involve prolonged contact with hospital patients.
Durham — which breaks up for Easter on March 20 — said: “Teaching will be online from next week. In person classes and lectures are cancelled.”
LSE said teaching will be online from March 23 and for the rest of the academic year. Exams and assessments will also be online.
London Met said it aimed to “ensure staff and students remain safe” and Manchester Met said it was safeguarding its whole community.
But Universities UK said they were sticking to “business as usual”.
Meanwhile, workers are worried about losing income. Employees who earn at least £118 a week qualify for statutory sick pay of £94.25 per week.
Until now, sick pay has been paid from the fourth day of illness, but the Government is rushing through laws so it starts from the first day.
Those who self-isolate will also get sick pay if they can’t work, but some firms may only give statutory cash.
People with desk jobs are most likely to be told to work from home.
The self-employed are not entitled to sick pay. But those with two years of National Insurance contributions can claim Contribution Employment and Support Allowance of up to £73.10 a week.
New advice for coronavirus
- If you have mild symptoms, stay at home for seven days
- Ask employers, friends and family to get you things you need to stay at home
- Stay at least two metres away from people in your home when possible
- Sleep alone if you can
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds
- Stay away from the elderly and others with health conditions
- Don't call NH111 if you have to go into self-isolation – just online services instead
Whole families could have to self-isolate if ONE has symptoms in future
FAMILIES could soon be told to self-isolate if just ONE of them has coronavirus symptoms, it emerged today.
At the moment Brits who get ill are being told to stay away from the people in their home as best they can – and avoid contact with others.
But in future whole families could have to go into lockdown to stop the spread further, experts said earlier.
That could be for up to a fortnight to make sure that everyone in the family has time for the symptoms to show and to get over the most infectious part of the disease.
However, that is not advice the Government is recommending at the moment – as we are not yet at the peak of the illness.
Don't call NHS 111 with mild symptoms – go online
IF you are worried you might have coronavirus DON'T call NHS 111, the Prime Minister said today.
Boris Johnson urged all Brits to visit the NHS 111 website as their first port of call.
If you think your condition is getting worse, seek medical attention quickly and dial 999 in an emergency.
If it's not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online here.
If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
All routine medical and dental appointments should be cancelled while you are sick and staying at home.
Public Health England said it will no longer be testing everyone suspected of having coronavirus.
If you are self-isolating with mild symptoms you won't be tested.
Up to 10,000 Brits could already be infected
UP TO 10,000 Brits could already be infected with undiagnosed coronavirus, experts warned today.
Speaking at a press conference, Boris Johnson said the number of cases in the UK is expected to rise sharply in the coming weeks.
The Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said: "Currently we are on a trajectory that looks as though it is about four weeks or so behind Italy and some other countries in Europe," he said.
"There are currently 596 cases that have been identified in the UK and there are more than 20 patients in intensive care units.
"If you calculate what that really means in terms of the total number, it is much more likely that we have between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected at the moment.
"That is still a relatively small number."
The majority of them will not know they have it either, experts said.
From sore throat to cough and fever – how to tell if it’s NOT flu or a cold
As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it.
According to the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath
Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea – but these are usually mild and begin gradually.
Developing these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the illness and they are similar to other illnesses, such as the common cold or flu.
Some people will not develop all of these symptoms – and some might not even show symptoms at all, experts say.
Source: Read Full Article