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‘More people will die’ from coronavirus if Londoners don’t stay at home, says Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday March 22. Picture: Cash Boyle - Credit: Archant

‘Life has changed’ says the mayor of London Sadiq Khan, as he admits enforcement measures will be used if necessary to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The mayor was emphatic in his message regarding the coronavirus, as he called these ‘extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures.’

When challenged by Andrew Marr on the notable shift in response over the few days, Khan lamented that he only discovered the true extent of the situation last Monday at a Cobra meeting.

Khan says he hadn’t been invited to any other meetings until that point, but that he has been lobbying the government for ‘a clear and consistent message.’

Now fully aware of the accelerated situation in London, Khan says: ‘Be under no doubt. By mixing it leads to more people dying.’

The mayor, clearly pained by the reality, admitted that the imminent enforcement legislation will be used if necessary.

When asked whether the police and army are set to intervene, Khan said: ‘If people continue to act in a way that is leading to this disease spreading, then those sorts of things will be things that will have to be considered.’

He describes the difficult balance in ensuring there are ample public services so that key workers are not bunched together, before adding that both the congestion and emission charges have been turned off.

The continued provision of public transport should not be exploited, says Khan, emphasising that it is for ‘critical workers’ only.

In response to questions regarding the protection of those running public transport, primarily drivers, Khan says that the current advice from Public Health England is to not provide masks.

He compared this with the ongoing situation in the NHS, namely that their workers don’t yet have all the protective equipment they need.

In voicing his frustration at this state of affairs, Khan says he is doing his utmost to protect all those on the frontline.

He urged Londonders to do the same by staying at home.