Boris Johnson to hold daily press conferences to update public on coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 09:08 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:08 16 March 2020

Chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty (left) alongside prime minister Boris Johnson and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance (right_ during a press conference.  Picture: Simon Dawson/PA Wire

Chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty (left) alongside prime minister Boris Johnson and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance (right_ during a press conference. Picture: Simon Dawson/PA Wire

Boris Johnson or one of his senior ministers will hold daily press conferences to update the public on the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, Downing Street has said.

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The prime minister will address the media over the pandemic alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

The first of the daily briefings will come after the PM chairs a Cobra committee meeting expected to focus on plans to shield elderly and vulnerable citizens, household isolation and mass gatherings.

No 10 announced the plans to hold televised daily briefings after Johnson received criticism over an apparent lack of transparency in the fight against Covid-19.

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The PM or a 'senior' minister will host each briefing and face scrutiny while being joined by a revolving cast of medical and scientific experts, No 10 said.

'The prime minister and this government are committed to keeping the public informed every step of the way about what we're doing to fight the spread of coronavirus, when we're doing it and why we're doing it,' a spokeswoman added.

'At all times, we will be led by the science to bring forward the right responses at the right time to this global pandemic.'

Johnson had earlier come under fire for ministers and advisers allegedly briefing selected journalists over plans to tackle the crisis.


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His address is expected to come after he chairs an emergency Cobra meeting when further decisions could be taken on moves to stem the spread of the disease.

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