Army troops will deliver supplies to 1.5million vulnerable people who are being told to stay indoors for 12 weeks in the latest coronavirus self-isolation measures.
The dramatic move has been implemented to protect the people on the 'at risk' list, which includes anyone with underlying medical conditions, those on immune suppressant drugs and pregnant women with heart disease.
As many more people self-isolate, the Army will ensure they still have enough supplies by delivering directly to them to minimise contact and the risk of the virus spreading from Monday (March 23).
As of Sunday (March 21) evening, officials reported that the UK death toll in the outbreak had risen to 281. A 41-year-old man with underlying health conditions has been identified as the youngest victim in Britain of the coronavirus. There have been well over 5,000 confirmed UK cases of COVID-19 but, due to a lack of testing, the number is expected to be far higher.
Army troops will deliver supplies to 1.5million
Under the latest government advice, more people are being asked to self-isolate if they are considered vulnerable to the virus, and will be contacted personally by the NHS or their GPs with specific advice on how to stay safe. This includes being told to self-isolate for 12 weeks from tomorrow.
The advice, revealed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an update from Downing Street on Sunday, includes being told not to go to shops for food or pharmacies for medicines, but to wait until those are brought to them.
The reinforcements from the Army will be welcome after many of the UK supermarkets and shops have had their shelves stripped bare by 'stockpilers'.
Most of the main supermarkets have implemented dedicated shopping hours for elderly customers and also for key workers, who have struggled to get supplies.
George Eustice, who is the UK government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs secretary, issued a stark warning that panic buying is not necessary and if people remain calm, there will be enough food to go around.
The MP said that people should "be responsible" and that everyone was needed to "play their part" in ensuring the spread of the virus is kept to a minimum.
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