British PM to hold emergency meeting on coronavirus

Britain so far reported three deaths and 278 cases of the new coronavirus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 09 March 2020

British PM to hold emergency meeting on coronavirus

  • Britain’s emergency scientific group agreed last week that the virus was likely to spread in a significant way
  • The British government said it had set up a team to tackle “interference and disinformation” around the spread of coronavirus

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday chair an emergency meeting on coronavirus as the government mulls more stringent measures to tackle the outbreak.
Britain so far reported three deaths and 278 cases of the new coronavirus. The country’s biggest retailer, Tesco, has restricted bulk buying of products such as anti-bacterial gels and wipes, dried pasta and long-life milk.
“The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the UK and around the world,” Johnson said. “We are well prepared and will continue to make decisions to protect the public based on the latest scientific advice.”
The new coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, causes a disease called COVID-19. It has spread around the world, infecting more than 106,000 people and 3,600 people have died worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.
Britain’s emergency scientific group agreed last week that the virus was likely to spread in a significant way and the government will decide on Monday whether to move to the so called “delay phase” of its plan.
As some British supermarket shelves were emptied of basics such as lavatory paper, the British government said it had set up a team to tackle “interference and disinformation” around the spread of coronavirus.
British culture secretary Oliver Dowden there were no plans to shut museums, art galleries or concert halls, or to order sporting events to be canceled or played behind closed doors.
“We not anywhere near that sort of stage,” he told BBC TV. “There is no reason for people not to attend such events or to cancel them at this stage but we keep it under review.”
Dowden added that there was no need for people to stockpile.
“We are confident that supermarkets have the supply chains necessary to keep shelves stocked,” he said.


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 01 June 2020

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.

Protesters hand over to police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into a crowd marching on 35W north bound highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.