Coronavirus: Isolation for over-70s ‘within weeks’

Media captionMatt Hancock: “Getting through this is going to be a national effort”

Every Briton over the age of 70 will be told “within the coming weeks” to stay at home for an extended period to shield them from coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

He told the BBC the advice will not come into force just yet but when it does it will last “a very long time”.

It comes as 14 more people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus, bringing total deaths to 35.

Manufacturers will be asked to make extra NHS ventilators, Mr Hancock said.

The total number of confirmed UK cases of the virus has reached 1,372, with a total of 40,279 people being tested, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care.

It comes after 34 new cases were announced in Wales, 32 in Scotland and 11 in Northern Ireland.

Over-70s – and younger people with certain health conditions – will need to remain at home and have groceries and vital medication delivered, the health secretary said.

The Scottish government has set out its interpretation of the strategy, saying it had no plans to isolate the elderly, but would instead “ask them to reduce social contact”.

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