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'Buy what you need', urges UK health secretary

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 15, 2020 - Duration: 01:14s

'Buy what you need', urges UK health secretary

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the UK government will have the power to force people to isolate if necessary, and urged Britons to avoid panic buying because "there's an impact on others".

David Doyle reports.

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'Buy what you need', urges UK health secretary

The UK will have the power to force people to quarantine if necessary, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday (March 15) as countries across the world enact stricter measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY, MATT HANCOCK, SAYING: "I doubt that, actually, we will need to use it much because people are being very responsible and people need to be responsible." As of Sunday more than 150,000 people have been infected with the virus worldwide and deaths, according to a Reuters tally, have passed 5,800.

Several leaders have called for calm amid increased panic buying - and the UK is no different.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY, MATT HANCOCK, SAYING: "There are some areas where I think people really need to think about the impact on others of what they're doing, making sure that if you're buying food, for instance, and loo roll, you buy what you need, because there's an impact on others." British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticized for not implementing more of the measures adopted in other European countries such as increasing social isolation and banning mass gatherings.

Hancock said the government's plan was based on credible scientific evidence - adding that authorities were ready to ban mass gatherings if necessary.

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