‘Keep calm and carry on’: Council leader’s plea over coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak is spreading across the UK. Picture: PA

The coronavirus outbreak is spreading across the UK. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell has urged people to “keep calm and carry on” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten people in the UK have died after contracting Covid-19, including a 63-year-old woman from Barking and Dagenham who had underlying health issues.

Shops have been forced to impose purchase limits on some items, such as toilet rolls, cleaning products and long-life food, as people attempt to stock up ahead of the possibility of spending time in self-isolation.

But Cllr Rodwell warned against this, saying: 'We don't need to go mass shopping and we don't need to be closing every venue.

'What we need to be doing is supporting each other at this time.'

He added: 'Let's carry on supporting our vulnerable. If you've got a neighbour, a friend or a family member that may need support, then go and support them whilst getting support from the local authority.'

Cllr Rodwell explained that there were no plans to close any schools in the borough and that the council would seek to reduce the impact of coronavirus on its services.

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'Over the coming weeks, it's quite possible that services within the council may be affected,' he said.

'We will keep you updated and we will try to maintain as many services at the best level we can over this period.'

As of 9am on Friday, March 13, there were 798 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

While coronavirus is spreading across the globe, the situation in China - where it began at the end of last year - seems to be easing. On Friday, March 13 the country reported just eight new cases and seven deaths. More than 64,000 people have been released from hospital.

More than 22,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed across Europe, and more than 1,000 people have died on the continent.