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Tuesday 31 March 2020

COVID remains top of the agenda

On Friday, Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus. The PM has since placed himself in self-isolation, continuing to lead through online meetings.  

Johnson penned a letter to every UK household detailing the Government response to the pandemic:

“It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better, but we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”

Johnson isn’t the only man in Government who has tested positive for COVID-19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also contracted the virus and reported suffering from “very mild symptoms”.

“Fortunately for me the symptoms so far have been very mild so I’ve been able to carry on with the work driving forward the UK response,” said Hancock via a video announcement.

Gove takes aim at China

Michael Gove has suggested the lack of clarity and secrecy from China has hindered the UK’s response to the crisis.

“It was the case that the first case of coronavirus was established in December last year. But it was also the case that some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this,” said the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Gove didn’t shy away from his opinion that China’s lack of information affected the UK’s ability to prepare to the best of its ability.

There is growing evidence China may be covering the truth about their death toll, particularly the number of deaths in Wuhan, where the virus originated. Both the number of cases and deaths are thought to be much higher than indicated by the Chinese Government.

Gove’s rhetoric was echoed by Iain Duncan Smith: “For too long, nations have lamely kow-towed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. But once we get clear of this terrible pandemic, it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship and put it on a much more balanced and honest basis.”

The UK has now enforced lockdown measures for over a week, and the Government has said it will review its strategy every three weeks for the next six months, the more closely we follow official advice, the sooner the lockdown measures can be relinquished.