‘Boris Johnson is today facing mounting pressure for a dramatic escalation of the government’s coronavirus response – as ministers struggled to explain why there has yet to be a ban on big gatherings and a school shutdown.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the UK’s limited action so far, saying it was ‘science led’ and accusing other countries of ‘populist’ measures that ‘don’t have the right impact’.
But he conceded that Britain will soon need the same tough steps, as it was only a ‘little behind’ neighbours such as France and Germany in the progress of the disease.
Fears over the impact of the coronavirus were laid bare today in a leaked Public Health England (PHE) briefing warning that a ‘worst case’ scenario could see an epidemic last until spring next year, and mean 7.9million needing hospital treatment.’
Read more: UK coronavirus lockdown IS on the way: Ministers warn Britons WILL face Europe-style curbs with pub closures, over-70s ordered to stay inside for months, £1,000 fines and detention for refusing quarantine as Boris Johnson starts daily crisis briefings