Coronavirus update: Global confirmed cases approach 200,000

Published by Ross Hindle on March 17th 2020, 10:10am

Following the Prime Minister's statement urging everyone to avoid unnecessary social contact and work from home where possible, the Leaders Council will now be providing a global Covid-19 update twice a day.

Fifty-five people have died from the virus in the UK, and while there are currently 1,530 confirmed UK cases (as of 10am, 17th March), it is estimated that the real number could be as high as 50,000.

Following the PM's advice that people should avoid "pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues", theatres in the West End and further afield across the UK have closed their doors, with the Society of London Theatre and sister organisation UK Theatre saying their member venues would close from Monday night.

In commercial aviation, Virgin Atlantic are expected to cut "four-fifths" of its flights, asking staff to take eight weeks of leave. RyanAir and EasyJet are expected to ground the majority of their planes, and British Airways are looking to cut flight capacity by as much as three-quarters.

It is expected that the government will reveal further measures to help the stability of the economy later today. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will also join the government emergency Cobra meeting, and told Good Morning Britain this morning that London transport operations could be "massively scaled back".

Elsewhere in the world, the European Commission looks set to stop all "non-essential" Schengen travel as more and more countries strengthen border controls. The Commission has also pledged that EU countries will be supported by a fund of "more than 120 billion euros".

Belgian monarch King Phillipe stated in a Monday night televised address that the situation "reminds [Belgians] of [their] vulnerability, but at the same time brings out [their] strength".

The Swedish government has also announced that it will close all high schools and universities from Wednesday,.

At the Kaiser Pemanente research facility in Seattle, Washington, however, the first human trial of a vaccine fighting against the pandemic coronavirus has begun.

The Leaders Council evening coronavirus update will follow later today, after 5pm.

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Authored By

Ross Hindle
Content Director
March 17th 2020, 10:10am

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