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Thursday, Oct 22, 2020

UK government to 'rush in emergency laws to tackle coronavirus crisis'

Emergency laws to tackle the coronavirus crisis will reportedly be rushed in by the UK government after officials confirmed the 20th case was passed on inside the country.
Measures to ensure that public services and transport can keep operating if the outbreak continues to spread will allegedly be announced next week.

The new laws are said to include the ability to suspend maximum class sizes to allow teachers to take on pupils when colleagues are off sick.

Lessons could take place outside schools, according to MailOnline.

Ministers are also considering suspending laws that limit lorry drivers to 56 hours a week to stop supply chains collapsing if sickness levels rise, reports claim.

Military doctors could help in NHS hospitals in a ‘worst case scenario’, it’s said.

It comes as the deadly illness claims its first British victim, a man in his 70s who did not live in the UK.

He caught the virus while in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Department of Health and Social Care said on Friday that the 20th case of the virus was passed on in Britain but the original source remains ‘unclear’.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said there was ‘no immediately identifiable link to overseas travel’.

The latest case is a resident in Surrey, where Public Health England (PHE) is working with the county council to manage the situation.

Professor Whitty said: ‘It is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad.

‘This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun. The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS infection centre at Guy’s and St Thomas.’

‘The total number of cases in England is now 18. Following confirmed cases in Northern Ireland and Wales, the total number of UK cases is 20.’

Two other people who have tested positive picked up the virus in Iran and one in Italy.

Canary Islands authorities have said six Britons have left the hotel in Tenerife which has been quarantined due to COVID-19 but 232 guests are still inside.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now upgraded the global threat of coronavirus to ‘very high’, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today.

Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee on Monday.

The prime minister has said: ‘The issue of coronavirus is something that is now the Government’s top priority. People are right to be concerned and they are right to want to take every possible precaution, and we will in the course of the next few days be issuing further advice about how to respond and how we will deal with any potential outbreak.’

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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