- “The measures that we’re looking at taking are very, very significant and they will disrupt the ordinary lives of almost everybody in the country in order to tackle this virus.”
- WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the epidemic center had now moved to Europe.
- On Friday afternoon, US President Trump declared a national emergency.
British Foreign Secretary Matt Hancock said that as the epidemic is getting worse, the elderly and vulnerable groups need to be “protected through self-isolation.” So far, more than 1,100 people have been diagnosed in the UK, and the death toll among infected people has risen to 21.
“The measures that we’re looking at taking are very, very significant and they will disrupt the ordinary lives of almost everybody in the country in order to tackle this virus,” he said. “We have not ruled that out. We will do what is necessary. Because the top priority is to protect life, and you do that by protecting the vulnerable, and by protecting the NHS. That is the goal,” Hancock said.
On Thursday, the British government’s emergency cabinet meeting decided to announce that the British action against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has moved from the first stage of “contain” to the second stage of “delay.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference that the new coronavirus epidemic is the worst public health crisis encountered in a generation, and that the epidemic will continue to spread. He warned British families to prepare for the death of a loved one due to illness.
The British government’s decision caused an uproar as soon as it was made. Many people believe that Britain’s plan to achieve herd immunity by infecting at least 60% of the population to gain immunity is undoubtedly giving up in the face of the epidemic.
Europe to Become Epidemic Center
Outbreaks in other European countries have also intensified. Italy added 250 deaths on Friday, setting a new high since the outbreak. As of Friday evening, the total number of deaths in Italy has reached 1,266, with a total of nearly 18,000 confirmed cases. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the epidemic center had now moved to Europe. He also said on Friday that it is not possible to predict when the global epidemic will reach its inflection point.
The number of cases in France, Germany, Britain and other places are also growing rapidly. The French president said the country was suffering the worst public health crisis in a century. Spain has also declared a state of emergency with more than 3,000 confirmed diagnoses.
U.S. Announces Emergency Virus Test will be Free
On Friday afternoon, US President Trump declared a national emergency with regard to the current coronavirus epidemic. He said this was to fulfill the full functions of the federal government. The federal government will allocate up to $50 billion to fight the epidemic. In emergency situations, administrative agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services can also implement stricter and more flexible epidemic prevention measures.
At a White House press conference, Trump said that he would order hospitals across the country to launch emergency programs and temporarily waive some of the legal restrictions imposed by laboratories and medical insurance companies. The U.S. President also made a conscious statement on the lack of detection of widespread cases, saying that early next week, 500,000 new rapid diagnostic kits developed by the Swiss Roche Pharmaceutical Group will be added. He also called on states to set up emergency centers.