BORIS Johnson has written to Britain’s 28million households pledging to help them beat the virus pandemic.
His letter, to be sent this week, says the Government will do “whatever it takes to help you make ends meet”.
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And the PM vows to help Brits by keeping supply lines open so that everyone is able to feed their loved ones.
Mr Johnson — who has been in total isolation since testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday — is desperate to raise the nation’s spirits as we enter the second week in lockdown.
The death toll hit 1,019 today, a rise of 260 and the biggest daily leap in fatalities.
At least 13 new victims were previously healthy adults.
In a bid to brace everyone for tougher times ahead, he will starkly warn that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
But he stresses that his government will do everything in its power to help as many people survive the emergency — both physically and economically.
The PM wrote the deeply personal message himself while in solitary isolation, suffering “mild symptoms” of the virus.
'FOOD ON THE TABLE'
His letter, which will be posted to every home this week, will say: “I know many of you will be deeply worried about the financial impact on you and your family.
“The Government will do whatever it takes to help you make ends meet and put food on the table.”
In a bid to unite the nation, Mr Johnson will praise the “truly inspirational” work of our NHS heroes — who were applauded by millions in a moving tribute last week.
He wants to harness that “great British spirit” to help his government and the public beat the killer virus together.
It is the first time in decades that a PM has written to every household to seek their help in defeating a common enemy.
His letter, which goes out Monday, will say: “In just a few weeks, everyday life in this country has changed dramatically.
“We all feel the profound impact of coronavirus not just on ourselves, but on our loved ones and our communities.
“I understand completely the difficulties this disruption has caused to your lives, businesses and jobs.
“But the action we have taken is absolutely necessary, for one very simple reason. If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to cope. This will cost lives.
“We must slow the spread of the disease, and reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment in order to save as many lives as possible. This is why we are giving one simple instruction — you must stay at home.”
The PM says it is vital that nobody cheats by meeting friends or relatives who do not live under the same roof.
He repeats the only reason to venture outdoors must be to buy food, take exercise once a day or seek medical attention.
Only key workers will be allowed to travel to their jobs — everyone else must stay at home.
And on the rare occasion anybody leaves the home, they must stay at least two metres — about seven foot — from other people.
But Mr Johnson makes it clear the stay-at-home rule must be obeyed — and that anybody who breaks it will face a fine.
He also warns that he will not hesitate to go further if the scientific and medical evidence points to the need for tougher controls on people’s movement.
His letter states: “It’s important for me to level with you — we know things will get worse before they get better.
“But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”
He closes the letter by praising the “fantastic” staff in the NHS and care sector.
'WE WILL BEAT IT TOGETHER'
He says: “It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.”
Mr Johnson also acknowledges the retired doctors and nurses and 739,000 volunteers who have joined the national effort to protect the most vulnerable.
He concludes: “It is with that great British spirit that we will beat coronavirus and we will beat it together. That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Prof Stephen Powis, of NHS England, today admitted it would be a “good result” if deaths in the UK were kept below 20,000.
He said “every death is absolutely a tragedy”, and that the toll can only be kept down if we continue to follow social distancing measures to stop the virus’s spread.
Prof Powis said getting protective kit to healthcare staff was “an absolute priority”.
He spoke at a press conference chaired by Business Secretary Alok Sharma as Mr Johnson remains quarantined alone in his flat above No11 Downing Street.
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Tonight Downing Street insisted Mr Johnson was still in total command of the Government’s effort in battling the disease.
He chaired the latest meeting of top officials remotely from his study.
The PM was said to be in good spirits and has been taking hot drinks and soothing medicine.
Kitchen staff are preparing him food which is being left outside the door to his study or private apartment.
A source said: “The PM believes he owes it to every one of us to explain directly why these tough measures are required. He is also keen to thank them for their efforts.
“It’s important to let people know how serious this pandemic is but also to give everyone a little hope that it won’t be forever and they will get all the support they need.”
Today it emerged that a footman who walked the Queen’s dogs has tested positive.
The aide had regular contact with Her Majesty, 93, raising fresh fears about her health.
A doctor today tells The Sun on Sunday she has penned a “just in case” letter to her husband and kids before going to work on the front line treating virus-hit patients.
Meanwhile, soldiers are racing to convert London’s ExCel centre into a 4,000-bed hospital to cope with the expected surge in cases, now at 17,089.
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