Amid coronavirus outbreak, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government reportedly unveiled a $400 billion package of support for businesses in a bid to help them survive the unprecedented times. While speaking to an international media outlet, UK’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said that the measures were equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP. He further added that the package is available to any business that needs access to cash.
Sunak’s package of loans for virus-hit business comes after Johnson’s government had ramped up the response to coronavirus and asked people to avoid unnecessary social contact. Johnson said that more urgent action was needed and promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to tackle the global pandemic. Currently, UK has almost 1,950 confirmed coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has also claimed 71 lives.
The British government reportedly also warned that the virus is spreading faster than the authorities had predicted. While speaking to an international media outlet, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that UK capital is a ‘few weeks ahead’ of the rest of the country and the way the virus is spreading faster than the government and advisers had thought. Khan believes that the advice given by the government to stop all ‘non-essential social contact’ is the right advice. He reportedly said that the authorities have to take sensible steps to avoid the virus from spreading faster.
In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, UK government is also all set to quarantine all its citizens who are aged above 70 for up to four months. Country’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that isolating the elderly was “clearly in the action plan”. Hancock confirmed that the measure will certainly take place in the coming weeks. He added that coronavirus was a big risk to the elderly and vulnerable adding that it was for their self-protection.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on March 16 that the best way to combat the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus for all countries is to ramp up their testing programs. The WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a conference in Geneva that the ‘simple message’ he has for all countries is ‘test, test, test’. He further added that the countries will remain unsuccessful to tackle the pandemic if they fail to test all suspected cases and remain ‘blindfolded’.