Over 55,000 Brits unknowingly infected with coronavirus, expert warns

Over 50,000 Brits could be unknowingly infected with coronavirus, the Government’s top disease expert has warned.

Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance told MPs that 55,000 infections would be a “reasonable ballpark figure” – but refused to commit to widespread COVID-19 testing.

He revealed that the government’s new plan is to keep deaths below 20,000 –and warned: “We simply dont have mass testing capacity available now”

”There are not enough tests. We have to ration them for use where needed.”

He also claimed an extra 407 Brits have tested positive for COVID-19.

Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel” as he urged people to work from home "where they possibly can".

He also added that anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days.

The PM announced the government will no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers.

Brits were also told to avoid any non-essential social contact and to shield the "most vulnerable" for 12 weeks.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the PM said: "We need people to start working from home where they possibly can.

"And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues."

Coronavirus: What you need to know

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night told Brits to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres

  • All over-70s, pregnant women and adults who would normally ask to have a flu vaccine were told to "avoid all social contact"

  • The UK's coronavirus death toll hit 55 – with over 1,500 confirmed cases so far

  • It emerged that over 250,000 people would have died under the government's initial plan

  • Supermarkets across Britain slashed their services to stay open during the coronavirus outbreak

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