Drastic action needed or coronavirus will “overwhelm the NHS”, says PM

Coronavirus is so dangerous that without drastic action it will “overwhelm the NHS”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

The PM warned that more “extreme measures” may be needed to protect lives in the future.

Speaking at a briefing on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We may well have to go further and faster in the coming days to protect lives and the NHS."

He added: "We must act like any war time government and do whatever it takes to support our economy."

It was announced minutes before the Prime Minister's briefing that a further 14 people have died after being diagnosed with coronavirus in England, NHS England said, bringing the death toll in the UK to 71.

It comes as more than 50,000 Brits could be unknowingly infected with coronavirus, the Government’s top disease expert has warned.

The Foreign Office warned against all non-essential foreign travel earlier on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Brits on Monday to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres as the pandemic grips the country.

All over-70s, pregnant women and adults who would normally ask to have a flu vaccine were also told to "avoid all social contact" to ensure they don't get coronavirus.

In the same daily briefing, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said Brits are in "for the long haul on this" as he warned the UK could be fighting coronavirus for "weeks, months or maybe longer".

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