The World Health Organization (WHO) said the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating as the latest figures showed more than 350,000 were infected by the virus with cases in almost every country in the world.
WHO’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised that countries needed to use more offensive measures to combat the “heartbreaking” pandemic including testing and contact tracing.
He said countries can not win just by “defending”. They have to “attack” as well.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson made an announcement on Monday evening telling citizens of the UK to stay at home.
The measures bring the UK more into line with other European countries which have suffered badly from COVID-19.
Speaking live on television, Johnson said people can only leave leave home for the following reasons:
- to go shopping for essential items only
- to do one form of exercise once a day, alone or with other members of the household
- to seek medical needs, or provide care or help a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work, but only if it is absolutely necessary and working at home is not possible
The UK is also closing all non-essential shops and other public places, and gatherings of more than two people are to be banned, apart from among people from the same household.
Until now citizens have been advised to stay at home, but this has not been compulsory. The government has been criticised for the slow speed of its response.
The UK’s struggling health service, the NHS, has been preparing to deal with an influx of cases, with fears that the situation could worsen in coming days.
The British government said on Monday that 335 patients had now died from coronavirus, a rise of 54 from the previous day. The number of positive cases rose by nearly 1,000 to 6,650.