Boris Johnson is outlining the next steps in the UK’s plan to fight coronavirus at the first of a series of daily news conferences.
The briefing was expected to have details about steps the government may take to protect elderly and vulnerable people.
The over-70s have been told they are allowed to go out for walks when
their period of staying at home begins .
The first person in Wales to die with Covid-19 brings the UK total to 36.
Most of those who have died in the UK have been people over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions.
The total number of people in the UK to test positive for the virus has risen by 171 in a day to a total of 1,543, according to the
latest Department of Health figures . The latest cases include 30 more from Wales and 18 in Scotland .
More than 44,000 people have been tested in the UK. People self-isolating with mild symptoms are no longer being tested –
the government said tests are primarily being given to hospital patients with respiratory problems, and to people in residential or care facilities experiencing outbreaks.
But on Wednesday the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said not enough tests were being carried out.
“We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test,” he said – adding that the WHO has sent out almost 1.5 million tests to 120 countries.
Daily news conferences will be led by the prime minister or senior ministers, alongside Prof Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
It follows criticism of No 10 for an apparent lack of transparency over its plans to stem the spread of the virus, which causes the disease Covid-19.
Downing Street said the government was committed to keeping the public informed and would be led by science.
Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told
programme that over-70s who BBC Radio 4’s Today will soon be asked to stay at home for an extended period would still be able to go for a walk outside.
“It’s about being sensible but not mixing in crowds,” he said.
And the BBC has said it will delay changes to the TV licence
for the over-75s until August . Director General Tony Hall said it was important the corporation served the public “at this difficult time”.
Monday’s meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee, chaired by Mr Johnson, included discussions on how to protect the elderly and vulnerable and whether to ban mass gatherings.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said details of emergency legislation giving the government more powers to deal with the virus will be revealed on Tuesday.
Hotels could be converted to makeshift hospitals and private hospitals could be called on to boost NHS bed numbers.
has asked any firms which may be able to help to produce ventilator machines for use in hospitals to get in touch.
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