Residents of London braced themselves for much tougher lockdown measures as the number of people affected by a coronavirus in the UK capital cross 900. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said that government will implement harsh measures in London, where the virus has been spreading faster than any other part of the country. The government is struggling to contain the virus which is rapidly spreading across the city despite guidelines that advise its citizens to refrain from all social contact and unnecessary travel and work from home as far as possible. The UK Cabinet Office has reportedly asked government departments to chalk out plans that would force cafes, pubs and restaurants to close, news agency PTI reported.
Up to 40 London tube stations were set to close ahead of an expected lockdown.
The British government has told members of the public to avoid unnecessary social contact and work from home where possible.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a conference call with dozens of industry leaders to urge them to help the country increase production of key medical equipment.
Addressing the nation, Queen Elizabeth said the royal family would play its part as Britain rises to the challenge of overcoming the pandemic.
Indian doctors in the UK called on the UK government to take urgent steps to address the growing pressures on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) by cancelling all non-urgent surgeries.
The Britain government announced it would be closing schools in the coming days and placing 20,000 troops on standby in efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The Chief Brexit Negotiator for the European Union (EU), Michel Barnier, was tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging shoppers not to panic to buy, long queues outside stores were witnessed in London with reports of unruly behaviour by customers. The stores are being stripped bare of food and British supermarkets are expecting to get police support to deter unruly behaviour.
British shoppers were queuing around the block early on Thursday morning to buy basic goods such as bottled water and tinned goods ahead of an expected toughening of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Most supermarkets are still taking online orders but they will not be delivered for up to three weeks.