British PM Boris Johnson
British PM Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday unveiled a so-called battleplan to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, as the number of positive cases rose to 39.

He said the "Coronavirus Action Plan" does not set out what the government will do, but sets out the steps the government could take at the appropriate time on the basis of scientific advice.

"The plan has four strands. Containing the virus, delaying its spread, researching its origins and cure, and finally mitigating the impact should the virus become more widespread. That is, contain, delay, research, mitigate," he said in a statement from his 10 Downing Street office in London.

"And let me be absolutely clear that for the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover as we've already seen. But I fully understand public concern, your concern, about the global spread of this virus. And it is highly likely that we will see a growing number of UK cases," he said.

The new steps will involve possible school closures, cancelling events and bringing staff from the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) out of retirement. Over time, unnecessary travel could also be curbed and people urged to work from home and legislation will be introduced to ensure ministers have the powers to prepare for a widespread outbreak.

According to Daily Mail report, Police could ignore low-level crime and troops could be deployed on the streets as part of the government's dramatic three-month 'battle plan' if coronavirus takes hold in the UK amid warnings it could incapacitate a fifth of the workforce.

Patients not suffering from the disease could also be sent home from hospital.

US death toll reaches 6

The number of deaths in the US from the deadly coronavirus rose to six on Monday while the total number of confirmed cases in the country crossed 90, Vice President Mike Pence has said, as the novel virus continues to spread around the world despite travel restrictions.

All the six deaths in the US are from the Washington state with 43 domestic cases and 48 cases of the individuals who returned to the US, officials said on Monday.

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