Coronavirus: MP says government is ‘on a tightrope’ but response is right
PUBLISHED: 13:03 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:22 13 March 2020
An MP has urged the public to ‘keep calm and carry on’ as he admitted the government are ‘on a tightrope’ over coronavirus.
Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney, has told his constituents to stay vigilant, continue washing their hands, and try to avoid the elderly as the government adapts its response to the novel pathogen rapidly spreading throughout the UK.
There is so far one confirmed case of the virus in Suffolk, with 609 confirmed cases across the country.
However the UK's chief science officer has said there could be more than 10,000 undiagnosed cases.
Responding to criticism that the government has not acted quickly enough to contain Covid-19, Mr Aldous said: 'the government have a tightrope to walk and we are in uncharted waters as to what should and should not be done.'
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The MP was speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event where he reassured local businesses about the government's response to the virus and the latest budget.
'The chancellor has set out a proportionate and logical set of measures coordinated with the Bank of England of how we are going to address this particular challenge,' he said.
'But I suspect it will not be the end of the matter and there will be things to learn as we go along.
'This isn't one of those issues where you give your solution on day one and that's it. It is an ever evolving environment and we will have to change and put more measures in. Listen out as advice changes every day.'
Mr Aldous urged his constituents to call 111 if they have any doubts that they may have symptoms, in which case they can be advised about self-isolation.
He said: 'I think really it is a question of being vigilant. Be careful when you're mixing with older people, and increase your hygiene. There is a large element of also 'keeping calm and carrying on'.'
Despite some concern over the prime minister's plan for the population to develop a 'herd immunity' to the virus, Mr Aldous said he felt the UK's response is an 'example to other countries on how to pursue' their response.