An expert has warned the UK that we are merely “days behind” taking the same drastic measures as France to combat the coronavirus. While President Emmanuel Macron has issued a nationwide lockdown, the UK Government is still taking voluntary measures. Le Monde’s London correspondent Eric Albert spoke to Sky News about what might be in store for the UK.
He said: “At the beginning, the French President was saying ‘we’ll advise you not to be too close to other friends, not to mingle with other people’.
“People did not behave and then he came with the force of the law.
“I suspect the same thing will happen in Britain.
“Yes, there is a cultural difference, but I think it’s just lagging behind a few days really.”
Mr Albert continued: “You have 600 official cases now in France, you’ve got 148 deaths.
“In the east of France, A&E are now at maximum level, they are still coping but just about.
“The army is being despatched to develop temporary hospitals.
“That is something you normally have in Afghanistan, never in France before.”
The Le Monde correspondent added: “I suspect Britain is really just a few days behind and that the cultural difference will not matter at all.
“Look at Italy, look at Spain, look at China, look at Korea.
“Different cultures, maybe different systems, but at the end the decisions are pretty much the same.”
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The Government has ramped up its measures after experts advising it said there was a risk more than 250,000 people could die in the UK.
More than 10,000 members of the armed forces could be put on standby in the coming week due to the spread of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister has said people should work from home where possible as part of a range of stringent new measures.
He also warned Brits to avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to curb coronavirus.
More than 1500 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK.
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