Johnson to update UK on ‘steps to defeat’ COVID-19

London, April 30 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting on Thursday and then lead the daily coronavirus briefing for the first time since his return to work after recovering from the disease.

In a statement, No 10 said the Prime Minister, whose fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth to a baby boy on Wednesday, will update the UK on the “fight against this disease and the steps we are taking to defeat it”, the BBC reported.

Johnson returned to work in Downing Street on Monday but missed Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday following the birth of his son.

It comes as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which is working on a range of options for easing lockdown restrictions, is also scheduled to meet on Thursday.

The ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed on March 23, is due to be reviewed on May 7.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said Sage would be reporting to Johnson and to the cabinet, with decisions about any easing of the lockdown being made on the basis of the evidence they provided.

“Being absolutely frank, I don't think you're going to hear specific detail – I think that would be premature,” the BBC quoted Buckland as saying.

Earlier this week, Johnson said the lockdown would not be relaxed too soon and details on any changes would be set out over the “coming days”.

At Wednesday's press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was still “coming through the peak” of the virus and called for people to maintain social distancing measures “until we are out of the woods”.

As of Thursday, there were 166,441 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, with 26,166 deaths, according to data by the Washington-based Johns Hopkins University.



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