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British PM writing to every UK household to urge them to stay home in fight against coronavirus


Press Trust of India London
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, will send a letter to every UK household, warning them the pandemic crisis will get worse before it gets better and seeking their full cooperation in saving lives during the national emergency.
The letter will land on the doorsteps of 30 million households this week.
It is expected that the letter, which also warns that lockdown restrictions could get even tougher, will cost 5.8 million pounds to print and distribute across the UK.
In the letter, Johnson outlines the guidance that everyone should follow and the measures the government has put in place to fight coronavirus and to support businesses and workers.
His letter follows criticism over the clarity of government advice to date, BBC reported.
The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK has now reached 1,019, with a further 260 deaths announced on Saturday. There are now 17,089 confirmed cases in the UK.
"From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time. We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do," he writes in the letter.
Tough measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people and the closure of shops selling non-essential goods, were introduced last week.
"But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal."

We must slow the spread of the disease, and reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment in order to save as many lives as possible. This is why we are giving one simple instruction you must stay at home.
Johnson says it is vital that nobody cheats by meeting friends or relatives who do not live under the same roof.
He repeats the only reason to venture outdoors must be to buy food, take exercise once a day or seek medical attention.
Experts have said they expect the number of coronavirus cases and deaths to continue to rise for the next two to three weeks, before the effects of social distancing measures and restrictions on everyday life begin to have an impact.
In his letter, Johnson describes the pandemic as a "moment of national emergency".
The prime minister acknowledges the restrictions will have a financial impact on families.
"The government will do whatever it takes to help you make ends meet and put food on the table," he says.
Johnson also praises the work of doctors, nurses and other carers as well as well as the hundreds of thousands of people who have volunteered to help the most vulnerable.
The leaflet sent alongside the letter includes guidance on handwashing, an explanation of coronavirus symptoms, the government rules on leaving the house and advice on shielding vulnerable people.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has pledged to protect victims of domestic abuse, who she says are particularly at risk during the pandemic because of the need to stay at home.
The Foreign Office said it was working "around the clock" to support British travellers stranded in India amid a government lockdown.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma also announced insolvency rules would be changed to allow firms greater flexibility as they faced the coronavirus crisis.
Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, is also self-isolating after he developed coronavirus symptoms. He is said to be experiencing mild symptoms but has not been tested for Covid-19.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also self-isolating after testing positive for the virus. The UK's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, is also self-isolating, but has not tested positive.

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First Published: Mar 29 2020 | 2:18 PM IST

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