The UK has announced its official coronavirus action plan on Tuesday (3).
While introducing the plan, prime minister Boris Johnson advised people to wash hands with soap and water “for the length of time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice”.
The plan has four strands. Containing the virus, delaying its spread, researching its origins and cure, and finally mitigating the impact should the virus become more widespread, the prime minister said.
He also said that the army ready to step in if coronavirus escalates.
The government may also ask businesses to consider more home working and discourage unnecessary travel as part of a ‘social distancing’ strategy to delay the peak of the outbreak.
The government has so far invested over £40 million in research to find a vaccine.
“I fully understand the public’s concerns about the global spread of this virus, and it is likely to become more significant in the coming weeks,” Boris Johnson said.
“Keeping the country safe is our overriding priority and today’s plan means we are committed to doing everything possible – based on the advice of our world-leading scientific experts – to prepare for all eventualities,” he added.
Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said that the government is taking all possible steps to contain the virus.
“We have always said this outbreak could worsen before it gets better. Today’s battle plans, backed by our world-leading infectious disease experts, set out what actions the public can expect from the government now and if the virus does progress. Protecting the most vulnerable is our absolute priority,” he said.