Press release: Prime Minister to lead cross-government drive to defeat coronavirus

Prime Ministers Office 10 Downing Street

March 15
22:30 2020

  • New daily press conferences to keep public informed on how to protect themselves

  • Meetings with manufacturing industry and calls with international leaders will drive forward efforts to curb the virus

  • UK leading international efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and produce the medical equipment needed to help people recover

From tomorrow daily press conferences will be hosted by the Prime Minister and senior Ministers on the coronavirus pandemic, supported by scientific and medical experts including the Chief Medical Office and Chief Scientific Adviser. The press conferences form part of the governments commitment to clarity and transparency in order to ensure British people are fully informed about the steps they can take to protect themselves and others.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister and this Government are committed to keeping the public informed every step of the way about what were doing to fight the spread of coronavirus, when were doing it and why were doing it. At all times we will be led by the science to bring forward the right responses at the right time to this global pandemic.

On Monday morning the Prime Minister will speak to British manufacturers including Unipart Group to ask them to support production of essential medical equipment for the NHS. He will stress the vital role of Britains manufacturers in preparing the country for a significant spread of coronavirus and call on them to step up and support the nationwide effort to fight the virus.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

Preparing for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak is a national priority and were calling on the manufacturing industry and all those with relevant expertise who might be able to help to come together to help the country tackle this national crisis. We need to step up production of vital equipment such as ventilators so that we can all help the most vulnerable, and we need businesses to come to us and help in this national effort.

On Monday afternoon the Prime Minister will also chair another meeting of the COBR emergency committee to coordinate the governments ongoing response to coronavirus. The meeting is expected to include discussion on current modelling of the outbreak and next steps on plans around shielding elderly and vulnerable people, household isolation and mass gatherings.

Following his calls over the last few days with world leaders including President Trump, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Abe, Prime Minister Conte and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman the Prime Minister will continue his engagement with international partners to ensure a coordinated global response to the outbreak. Tomorrow all G7 leaders will participate in a call to discuss international efforts. The Prime Minister will encourage fellow leaders to support the World Health Organization response, provide funding and expertise for research that can ensure rapid progress to develop a vaccine, and drive forward support to mitigate the economic impacts of the crisis.

In the past few weeks the UK has shown leadership by providing up to 150 million to the IMFs Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to support the economies of developing countries affected by the virus, 50 million for the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which is leading the global research and development of a vaccine, 25 million for further research into the virus including to develop a rap

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