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Health chief says we must stay locked down until JUNE: UK could be made to remain at home for nearly three months to avoid worst effects of coronavirus and practice social distancing until October

Health chief says we must stay locked down until JUNE: UK could be made to remain at home for nearly three months to avoid worst effects of coronavirus and practice social distancing until October
  • Boris Johnson has written to every household warning the 'national emergency' will get worse
  • At a cost of £5.8 million, the letters will arrive at 30million homes with a leaflet about official advice 
  • Many people have been caught flouting the strict lockdown in the days after it was implemented
  • Britain's death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 on Saturday, its worst day so far of the pandemic
  • Government advisers have warned stricter distancing measures could be on the way to stem the spread
  • Professor Neil Ferguson, who advises the government, said the lockdown is likely to last until June
  • Downing Street officials have said China now faces a 'reckoning' over its handling of the outbreak
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Britain must stay in total lockdown until June to properly prevent the full extent of the deadly coronavirus and social distancing could last for months, a senior health chief has warned.
The country's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 yesterday in the worst day the country faced yet. A total of 17,089 people tested positive for the bug.
The Prime Minister, who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, said on Saturday 'things will get worse before they get better' as he stressed the need to stay indoors to support the NHS by slowing the spread.
Senior government figures have been more optimistic and have suggested that coronavirus could peak in April with approximately 5,700 deaths. But Professor Neil Ferguson said Britons will need to stay indoors for a full three months.
The leading epidemiology adviser to the government told The Sunday Times: 'We're going to have to keep these measures [the full lockdown] in place, in my view, for a significant period of time - probably until the end of May, maybe even early June. May is optimistic.' 
Professor Ferguson added that even if the lockdown is lifted, people will still need to abide by social distancing measures for months to come. 
It came as Michael Gove today declined to be drawn on how long the tough measures restricting people's lives would be in place for, and that ministers would not hesitate to enforce tougher rules if necessary.
'There are different projections as to how long the lockdown might last,' he told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, when asked about one key expert's prediction of June.
'But it's not the case that the length of the lockdown is something that is absolutely fixed.
'It depends on all of our behaviour. If we follow the guidelines, we can deal more effectively with the spread of the disease.'
Piccadilly seen with its main lights still on during Earth Hour 2020. The initiative highlights climate change with an hour of darkness as part of the global WWF event that usually seem large crowds gather at the landmarks but this year people were encouraged to celebrate it online observing Covid-19 lockdowns
Piccadilly seen with its main lights still on during Earth Hour 2020. The initiative highlights climate change with an hour of darkness as part of the global WWF event that usually seem large crowds gather at the landmarks but this year people were encouraged to celebrate it online observing Covid-19 lockdowns
Britain should stay in total lockdown until June to properly prevent the full extent of the deadly coronavirus, a senior health adviser warned. Pictured: People walk through Battersea Park for their permitted one outdoor exercise per day
Britain should stay in total lockdown until June to properly prevent the full extent of the deadly coronavirus, a senior health adviser warned. Pictured: People walk through Battersea Park for their permitted one outdoor exercise per day
Nine-year-old Eve looks out of the front window at home, as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases grow around the world
Nine-year-old Eve looks out of the front window at home, as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases grow around the world
Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 yesterday in the worst day the country faced yet. A total of 17,089 people tested positive for the bug. Pictured: People in Hyde Park London yesterday
Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 yesterday in the worst day the country faced yet. A total of 17,089 people tested positive for the bug. Pictured: People in Hyde Park London yesterday
Boris Johnson is writing to every household in the UK to urge the public to obey the lockdown and stay home during the coronavirus 'national emergency'
Boris Johnson is writing to every household in the UK to urge the public to obey the lockdown and stay home during the coronavirus 'national emergency'
The letters and leaflets are the latest in a public information campaign from No 10 to convince people to stay at home, wash their hands and shield the most vulnerable from the disease
The letters and leaflets are the latest in a public information campaign from No 10 to convince people to stay at home, wash their hands and shield the most vulnerable from the disease
Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 today as the UK suffers its worst day yet and sees a huge spike in victims. It is the biggest daily increase the UK has seen, the Department of Health and Social Care said today. A total of 120,776 coronavirus tests have taken place, and 17,089 have come back positive
Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 today as the UK suffers its worst day yet and sees a huge spike in victims. It is the biggest daily increase the UK has seen, the Department of Health and Social Care said today. A total of 120,776 coronavirus tests have taken place, and 17,089 have come back positive
The news comes as Governmental advisers warn that even stricter social distancing measures could be under way if the staggering increase in figures doesn't stop
The news comes as Governmental advisers warn that even stricter social distancing measures could be under way if the staggering increase in figures doesn't stop
But the positive message Mr Gove delivered was that the public appear to be heeding the advice.
'At the moment, all the evidence is that people are observing the rules, if you look at the number of people on public transport that has fallen, if you look at footfall in supermarkets and other stores, that has fallen as well,' he said.
'We keep things under review in order to ensure that if there are further steps they can be implemented.'
Across the country a total of 120,776 coronavirus tests have taken place, and a whopping 17,089 have come back positive for Covid-19. 
In other coronavirus developments across the country:
  • Britain's coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 as the UK suffered its worst day yet and saw a huge spike in victims, 13 of which were found to have no underlying health conditions
  • Ministers and senior Downing Street officials have said China now faces a 'reckoning' over its handling of the outbreak and risks becoming a 'pariah state'. 
  • The true number of people infected with coronavirus in the UK could be as high as 1.6 million, with over half of those cases outside of London, analysis by health care data experts suggests.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is the choice of voters to run the country if Boris Johnson becomes too ill, an exclusive poll for The Mail on Sunday has found. 
  • NHS workers began being tested for coronavirus at a temporary drive through testing station in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures in Chessington
  • Photos revealed the inside of the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital with two wards, each for 2,000 people, to help tackle the coronavirus response
  • The British Red Cross said evictions of asylum seekers from Government accommodation are to be halted amid fears about the disease
  • Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have created a mixture of 'hotlines' and 'online portals' where people can submit tip-offs if lockdown infractions occur 
  • National director of the NHS, Stephen Powis, yesterday revealed that 170million masks, 25million gloves and 30million aprons have been delivered to medical staff fighting virus across the country  
To try and ensure the effectiveness of the lockdown, the Government is spending approximately £5.8million on letters that will land on 30 million doorsteps along with a leaflet spelling out the Government's advice following much public confusion.To try and ensure the effectiveness of the lockdown, the Government is spending approximately £5.8million on letters that will land on 30 million doorsteps along with a leaflet spelling out the Government's advice following much public confusion.
Professor Neil Ferguson said Britons will need to stay indoors for a full three months
Professor Neil Ferguson said Britons will need to stay indoors for a full three months
The letters and leaflets are the latest in a public information campaign from No 10 to convince people to stay at home, wash their hands and shield the most vulnerable from the disease.
'We know things will get worse before they get better,' the PM's letter will read. 
'But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.
'It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.
'Thousands of retired doctors and nurses are returning to the NHS – and hundreds of thousands of citizens are volunteering to help the most vulnerable.
'That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.'
Amid allegations of confusing messages on the lockdown, the leaflet will outline the Government's rules on leaving the house and advice on shielding vulnerable people.
A clear explanation of the symptoms will also be included as will guidance on hand washing. 
Panic has gripped the nation as it was revealed that today's total number of deaths is 34 per cent higher than yesterday's and today has seen the largest daily increase since March 18, when the total shot up from 71 to 104. 
A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exerciseA police van drives past people taking their daily exercise allowance in Hyde Park in London on today, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - The two men leading Britain's fight against the coronavirus -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock -- both announced Friday they had tested positive for COVID-19, as infection rates accelerated and daily death rate rose sharply
A police van drives past people taking their daily exercise allowance in Hyde Park in London on today, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - The two men leading Britain's fight against the coronavirus -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock -- both announced Friday they had tested positive for COVID-19, as infection rates accelerated and daily death rate rose sharply
A medic can be seen attending to the occupants of a car at a coronavirus drive-through testing station in Chessington
A medic can be seen attending to the occupants of a car at a coronavirus drive-through testing station in Chessington
However, there has been a slight improvement in the daily rate of new cases. A further 2,510 patients were diagnosed with the virus today, a drop of 411 from the 2,921 new patients diagnosed yesterday. 
It is unclear whether this drop in new cases is as a result of social distancing measures or because less people are being tested for the virus. 
The deadly virus is continuing to spread across the country at an exponential rate - it took just 13 days for the number of deaths to go from one to more than 100. 
And it has only taken a further 10 days for the total to go from 100 to more than 1,000.
Overall, the number of confirmed cases in the UK is 17,089. But just one week ago, the total paled in comparison at 5,018.  
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is already having to lead the response to the pandemic from Downing Street after he was diagnosed with the disease.
He has been accused of failing to follow his own social distancing rules after Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive and England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty began self-isolating with symptoms. 
The news comes as Governmental advisers warn that even stricter social distancing measures could be under way if the staggering increase in figures doesn't stop.
It came as the true number of people infected with coronavirus in the UK could be as high as 1.6 million, with over half of those cases outside of London, analysis by health care data experts suggests.
A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus
A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus 
People walk and run to take their daily exercise allowance in Battersea Park in London today, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic
People walk and run to take their daily exercise allowance in Battersea Park in London today, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic
And with a predicted daily growth rate of 20 per cent that figure may now stand at 2.8 million people, just three days after the modelling was carried out, reports The Sunday Telegraph.
Edge Health, a UK health care data analysis company, revealed that while the official figure of coronavirus cases stood at 10,000 on March 26, the company's estimated true figure for infections in the UK was 1,614,505.
With widespread testing not yet available in Britain and swabs only being given to those in hospital and some NHS critical care staff, there could be thousands who have COVID-19 and are not aware of it, the study suggests.
Those with milder symptoms who are not admitted to hospital are also not accounted for in official figures.
A statement from NHS England said: 'Patients were aged between 33 and 100 years old and all but 13 (aged between 63 and 99 years old) had underlying health conditions.'  
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is the choice of voters to run the country if Boris Johnson becomes too ill, an exclusive poll for The Mail on Sunday has found.
The endorsement comes after the Prime Minister revealed on Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
While Downing Street has indicated that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will take the reins if Mr Johnson is incapacitated, the Deltapoll survey shows that Mr Sunak – dubbed ‘dishy Rishi’ by his Treasury colleagues – is backed as a stand-in premier by more than three times as many voters.
Mr Johnson’s approach to the crisis receives overwhelming backing, with 78 per cent saying that he is handling it well.
However, that does not mean voters agree with the pace of implementation of Mr Johnson’s lockdown measures.
An overwhelming majority of the public backed Rishi Sunak for PM, a poll has revealed
An overwhelming majority of the public backed Rishi Sunak for PM, a poll has revealed
A total of 63 per cent think that the social distancing rules were introduced too late. 
On the controversial issue of testing, 83 per cent believe that doctors and nurses should be given priority but just 19 per cent think that senior politicians should be prioritised – and only 15 per cent think the Royal Family should.
Most people also think that Britain is in for a long haul, with half of those questioned expecting restrictions to be in place for three months. And a majority think that tackling the outbreak is worth curtailing civil liberties, with 61 per cent agreeing that it is a necessary price.
The latest figures come after Scottish Secretary Alister Jack revealed he had developed mild symptoms of coronavirus and was self-isolating. 
Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise. The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce 'person-to-person interaction'.  
This week France announced that individuals could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of an hour and within 1,000 yards of their homes. Spain and Italy have banned exercise altogether, and there are concerns that Britons are deliberately misinterpreting the guidance by travelling to beauty spots miles from their homes. 
 

Keeping Covid-19 deaths below 20,000 would be a good result, says NHS medical director Stephen Powis who says 170million masks, 25million gloves and 30million aprons have been delivered to medical staff fighting virus 

By Isabella Nikolic for MailOnline 
The United Kingdom will have done well if it comes through the coronavirus crisis with fewer than 20,000 deaths said the national medical director of the NHS.  
When asked if he hoped that the United Kingdom was not on the same trajectory as countries such as Italy,  Stephen Powis said: 'If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic.'
'If it is less than 20,000... that would be a good result though every death is a tragedy, but we should not be complacent about that,' said Powis, speaking at a news conference in Downing Street alongside Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
He said the NHS had been working incredibly hard to increase the intensive care capacity beyond the 4,000 beds it typically had.
The United Kingdom will have done well if it comes through the coronavirus crisis with fewer than 20,000 deaths said the national medical director (pictured, Stephen Powis) of the NHS
The United Kingdom will have done well if it comes through the coronavirus crisis with fewer than 20,000 deaths said the national medical director (pictured, Stephen Powis) of the NHS 
When asked if he hoped that the United Kingdom was not on the same trajectory as countries such as Italy , Stephen Powis (pictured alongside Business Secretary Alok Sharma) said: 'If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic'
When asked if he hoped that the United Kingdom was not on the same trajectory as countries such as Italy , Stephen Powis (pictured alongside Business Secretary Alok Sharma) said: 'If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic'
Mr Powis insisted getting personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare staff was an 'absolute priority' as he detailed the numbers of products sent out.
More than 170million of the 'very highest level masks' have been dispatched 'in the last couple of weeks,' he said.
He added 40million gloves had been sent in recent days, as well as 25million face masks and 30million aprons.
'So vast numbers going out,' he said.'We're strengthening the supply chain every day to ensure that every organisation gets the equipment that they need, that's an absolute priority for us.' 
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said Johnson continues to show only 'mild symptoms' of coronavirus.
'He continues to lead the government's effort in combating Covid-19,' Sharma told reporters.
'This morning he held a video conference call and he will continue to lead right from the front on this.'
The United Kingdom will have done well if it comes through the coronavirus crisis with fewer than 20,000 deaths, Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the National Health Service, said on Saturday
The United Kingdom will have done well if it comes through the coronavirus crisis with fewer than 20,000 deaths, Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the National Health Service, said on Saturday

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