UK, France warn their people things are going to get worse, Latest World News - The New Paper

UK, France warn their people things are going to get worse

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LONDON: Leaders of both Britain and France have warned their residents that things are going to get worse as the British death toll passed 1,000 on Saturday and the French, 2,000.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Britons in a letter to 30 million households that things will get worse before they get better, as he himself self-isolates in Downing Street to recover from the coronavirus.

Britain has reported more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus and the peak of the epidemic in the country is expected in a few weeks.

In the letter, Mr Johnson urges people to stick with the lockdown measures that his government has imposed to try to prevent the state National Health Service from being overwhelmed by cases.

Senior minister Michael Gove said the government is "very concerned" about the death toll, adding that the country has boosted the amount of testing for the virus.

"The number of tests being carried out has hit 10,000 a day. We want to increase that to 25,000," he said.

In France, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned on Saturday the next two weeks will be the toughest yet as his government raced to add intensive care beds and source protective gear.

The outbreak initially took hold in eastern France, where hospitals have become overwhelmed, and it has been spreading west. Doctors in the greater Paris region have said their intensive care units will be full by the end of the weekend.

"We are fighting a battle that will take time," Mr Philippe said. "The first two weeks of April will be harder than the two we have just lived through."

By Saturday, France had nearly 37,600 confirmed cases, according to official figures.

The worst hit country, Italy, announced 889 new deaths on Saturday, pushing it past the 10,000 mark. An additional 5,974 infections brought the total to more than 92,400.

Spain confirmed another 838 deaths inside 24 hours from the coronavirus yesterday, a new daily record, bringing the death total to 6,528. The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached more than 78,790. - AFP, REUTERS