PM to chair COBR meeting on coronavirus outbreak

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today (Monday 2 March) chair a meeting of the government emergency COBR committee on the coronavirus outbreak.

The Committee will discuss, finalise and sign off a battle plan containing a detailed set of countermeasures.

The Prime Minister will tell the meeting, which will be attended by senior ministers as well as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor:

The number of coronavirus cases around the world is rising every day – and the UK is no exception.

There now seems little doubt that it will present a significant challenge for our country.

But we are well prepared, and the government and the NHS will stop at nothing to fight this virus.

This battle plan lays out in detail the measures we could use – if and when they are needed.

COBR has been meeting regularly on this issue since January and will be held as often as needed.

As the number of cases in the UK is expected to rise, the action plan will help ensure Government is doing everything it can and can adapt quickly to changing circumstances.

Over the past few days, the Prime Minister has been in regular contact with the Chief Medical Officer and Cabinet Ministers at the heart of monitoring and responding to the virus here in the UK, including the Health Secretary and Foreign Secretary.

The Prime Minister has also been visiting NHS staff who may be on the frontline, such as those in Kettering General Hospital last week, where he saw their new coronavirus pod, a special sterile cabin outside the hospital, where people can come to be checked.

Yesterday, he saw Public Health England’s lab in Colindale, one of a number of labs across the UK where tests are carried out to confirm or rule out coronavirus. He then headed to Royal Free Hospital to meet with staff who are treating patients with the virus.

The PM and Health Secretary thank the NHS staff and healthcare professionals for their tremendous work and dedication in responding to this.

A war room will also be up and running in the Cabinet Office, bringing together communications experts from across government and the NHS to roll out the public information campaign and respond quickly to cross-cutting issues.

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