Coronavirus update: Base rate falls to 0.1%, Italy death toll overtakes China

Published by Ross Hindle on March 19th 2020, 6:06pm

In his briefing today, the Prime Minister said that the UK would be able to "turn the tide" on coronavirus, and hoped that the country would be able to "send it packing" within 12 weeks.

Beyond that, he announced no real new measures, thanked the nation for its solidarity, and and asked businesses to "stand by their employees, because we will stand by you".

He said there were no plans to stop London public transport or "lock down" the capital -- as many have wondered over the past few days -- but said the government would "enforce" the advice for people to stay home as "in some parts of the capital it is very patchy".

The Bank of England also announced earlier today that the mortgage base rate has been reduced to 0.1% from 0.25%, the lowest level ever.

The Queen also addressed the nation today from Windsor Castle, asking the country to "work as one", and praising the work of critical and key workers.

Elsewhere in the world, the death toll in Italy has surpassed the total number of Covid-19 deaths in China at 3,405. There are currently over 220,000 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide.

The WHO has also advised that Africa needs to "wake up" to coronavirus, in spite of a comparatively small number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The Leaders Council morning update will follow tomorrow.

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Ross Hindle
Content Director
March 19th 2020, 6:06pm

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