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'We can turn the tide in the next 12 weeks' if we follow the advice - Johnson

'We can turn the tide in the next 12 weeks' if we follow the advice - Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated that people should follow the advice given to help the UK's response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, saying that we can make a 'huge huge difference' if we all do follow the advice together.

Speaking during the daily Coronavirus press conference from Downing Street on Thursday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "We can turn the tide in the next 12 weeks and we can send coronavirus packing if we all take the steps we have outlined." He warned that the 12-week timeline could not be certain and what would happen after 12 weeks cannot be guaranteed at this time.

The PM said there is no prospect of the government wanting to stop public transport in London but that people should avoid events and also venues such as pubs and clubs where the virus could be transmitted. Mr Johnson thanked Britons for their efforts and for following the advice thus far, urging them to continue doing the same. He said there was evidence that people were following the advice, with there being much lower than usual takings in the retail and hospitality industries and for Transport for London.

Asked if the government would introduce stricter measures, Mr Johnson said that if the government considered that further measures were needed due to people not following advice, then they may be introduced. It was implied that options including closing shops and restaurants remain on the table.

The Prime Minister also urged members of the public to refrain from panic-buying and be reasonable when shopping.

Mr Johnson also said that negotiations are taking place to buy a 'so-called antibody test, as simple as a pregnancy test' that can show whether you have had the virus. He said, "It is early days but if it works as its proponents claim, then we will buy literally hundreds of thousands of these kits as soon as practicable because obviously it has the potential to be a total game changer." It was added that these tests, if they work, would be rolled out to healthcare workers first and then other essential workers and members of society.
 
The PM also said that companies should stand behind their staff because the government would stand behind them. He added that further information on how the government would support firms would be announced by the chancellor Rishi Sunak on Friday.
 
 
Photo Credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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