Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, the Indian-origin British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has said that Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from the first day-off for anyone who needs to self-isolate because of COVID-19 infection even if they do not have any symptoms. While announcing the 2020 Budget on March 11, Sunak said that a 30 billion pound three-point government response will have “maximum impact” to tackle the widespread coronavirus.
Moreover, in totality, the British Chancellor is pledging seven billion pounds to businesses and five billion pounds for NHS to help cope with the demands of the virus. Sunak has also promised the companies that the government will refund the cost of statutory sick pay with up to 250 people in the staff that need to take up 14 days off while abolishing business rates for smaller businesses. In House of Commons, the British Chancellor said that they are doing everything possible to keep Britain and its people “healthy and financially secure”.
The British officials have reported 19 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in UK to 609 with 10 deaths. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic after the virus spread to more than 130 countries, resulting in the deaths of more than 5,000 people worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word 'Pandemic' cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.
However, Tedros also said that the coronavirus outbreak is a controllable pandemic. According to a statement released by the World Health Organisation, Tedros outlined two main reasons as to why the decision was taken to describe the epidemic as a pandemic. Tedros said that one reason was the speed and scale of transmission and the others was because 'countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it'.