London’s Hyde Park would be turned into a morgue if the killer coronavirus outbreak escalates in the UK, under worst-case scenario plans.
Nickie Aiken, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, confirmed the royal park has emergency plans in place to store human corpses.
The Government has an array of procedures in case of a crisis on British soil, which could include the coronavirus if it spreads in the UK.
London’s Hyde Park (pictured) would be turned into a morgue if the killer coronavirus outbreak escalates in the UK, under worst-case scenario plans
A British man who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship (pictured in Yokohama) has died after being infected with coronavirus, Japanese authorities confirmed today. He was the first Briton to die in the crisis
Twenty cases have already been confirmed in Britain – including six in the last 24 hours. But none of the patients caught the deadly infection in Britain
Twenty cases have already been confirmed in Britain – including six in the last 24 hours – as a British man who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship died in Japan.
But none of the patients caught the deadly infection in the UK.
Switzerland bans all events involving more than 1,000 people
Switzerland has today banned all events involving more than 1,000 people in a drastic bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Swiss government announced the emergency measure today and said it will last until at least March 15.
Officials say the ban on ‘public and private events’ is intended to ‘prevent or delay the spread of the disease in Switzerland, thus reducing its momentum’.
The move will affect events including concerts, the Basel Carnival, the Geneva Motor Show and matches in the Swiss Football League.
Switzerland has already confirmed 15 cases of the virus, and officials expect the outbreak to get worse because of the crisis over the border in northern Italy.
The Swiss ban on ‘large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people’ will take effect immediately.
‘In the case of public or private events at which fewer than 1,000 people would gather, event organisers must carry out a risk assessment in conjunction with the competent [regional] authorities to decide whether or not the event can be held,’ authorities said.
Health minister Alain Berset said that similar measures had proved ‘effective’ in other countries.
The government said it was ‘aware that this measure will have a significant impact on public life in Switzerland’ but added that ‘it should prevent or delay the spread of the disease, thus reducing its momentum’.
The health minister told reporters that the number of cases in Switzerland was ‘not a surprise for us’, adding: ‘We have to expect an increase in cases in the next few days’.
The measure will affect the annual Geneva Motor Show, which was due to take place from March 5-15 and draws tens of thousands of visitors every year.
Football fixtures are also affected. The five teams due to play at home this weekend all had more than 1,000 spectators in their last home games. The matches have now been postponed.
Taking a different approach, the national Swiss hockey league said all games this weekend will be played in front of empty stadiums.
The traditional Carnival procession in Basel will also have to be called off.
If the virus does begin to spread between humans in the UK, then emergency plans could be given the green-light to save thousands of lives.
Under the measures, schools could be closed for eight weeks and sporting fixtures such as FA Cup, Grand National and London Marathon postponed.
Schools including Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough and Cransley School in Northwich, Cheshire, are already shut after pupils returned from ski trips to Northern Italy.
Ms Aiken said Britain would be the best country to be in should the coronavirus outbreak become a pandemic because ‘we are so on it for contingency planning’.
Today, a doctor from Surrey was feared to have become the UK’s 20th confirmed coronavirus case – the first Brit to have caught the infection in the UK if confirmed.