Sadiq Khan urges people to follow new advice as London is ahead of virus cases

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LONDON: Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Londoners to heed the coronavirus-tackling advice given by Boris Johnson after it was revealed the capital is weeks ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of case numbers.

The Prime Minister on Monday said “drastic action” is needed in the UK as he suggested a raft of social distancing measures including asking people to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.”Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel,” Mr Johnson said. “It looks as though London is a few weeks ahead,” he added, confirming the pandemic has spread faster in some areas of the country.

After attending the emergency Cobra meeting, Sadiq Khan bolstered the PM’s new interventions in a video he posted to social media.  He said it was now important Londoners follow the advice given: “The Prime Minister has said that London is now a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country because of our global connectivity and size.

“It’s therefore especially important for all Londoners to heed the latest advice that applies to them. All Londoners should stop all non-essential contact. This means working from home wherever possible and stopping all visits to pubs, clubs, theatres and other venues with immediate effect.”

The Government have said they have chosen this moment to introduce the more stringent rules because they believe it will have the biggest effect.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said measures to tackle the spread of the disease would need to be in place for a “prolonged period. This is going to go on for some time,” he said. “We should not be under any illusions that ‘if we just do this for a couple of weeks that is sufficient’.”

Most people in society have been asked to change their day-to-day lives in some way. It will particularly affect people over the age of 70, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions.

The World Health Organisation said late last week that Europe was now the coronavirus epicentre of the world. A number of European countries brought it severe social distancing measures weeks ago.

Britain is still taking a more muted approach to the rest of the continent however, the Government says it is introducing the measures at the right time.

The curtain fell between the UK and America on Tuesday morning as a travel ban between the two nations came into effect following Donald Trump’s previous Europe-wide ban that excluded Britian and Ireland.

Across the world, borders are slamming shut, schools and businesses are closing and increasingly drastic restrictions are being enforced to prevent the movement of tens of millions of people.