Global deaths of the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, have now passed 10,000.
Yesterday, the Leaders Council reported that the death toll in Italy had "overtaken" that of China, further reinforcing the sentiment that Europe was now the epicentre of the virus, as announced some days ago by medical professionals.
Today, the chancellor is expected to announce a wage subsidy package to protect UK jobs. This announcement caused the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 to rise by as much as five per cent, and the pound has risen from 3.3% on the 35-year low against the dollar yesterday.
These new measures come after Mr Johnson yesterday asked companies to "stick by their employees".
It has also been announced that correspondence has been issued to more than 65,000 retired doctors and nurses across England and Wales, asking them to return to the NHS and help with efforts to suppress the outbreak.
As of Friday, 20 March, 10AM, 144 people have died from the virus in the UK.
Elsewhere, the Catholic Church has announced it will be suspending masses and other regular services from Friday 20 March to assist with mitigating the spread of the virus.
The government has also published a full list of whose workers' children will be allowed to attend school after the announcement came that most were to close.
NHS staff around the country have also started to urge members of the public to stop panic buying, for fears there will be no food left for them or their families.
Elsewhere in the world, Argentina has become the first Latin American country to initiate nationwide lockdown, China has once more reported no increase in domestic cases and US Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr has been coming under fire for supposed insider trading based on knowledge of the novel coronavirus, earning he and his wife as much as $1.7 million.
The next Leaders Council update will be published this evening, following the daily press conference from the PM.