UK's Johnson: 'We know things will get worse before they get better'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say in a letter to every household in the U.K. that officials “know things will get worse before they get better” amid the coronavirus pandemic, his office announced. 

The letter, which was posted Saturday by Johnson office on Twitter, calls the pandemic a “moment of national emergency.” It follows a lockdown in the U.K. to prevent the National Health Service (NHS) from being overwhelmed and comes days after the prime minister tested positive with coronavirus, requiring him to self-isolate.

“It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”

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“At this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” he added. 

Johnson also acknowledged the financial impact families and businesses will likely experience, adding that the government “will do whatever it takes to help you make ends meet and put food on the table.”

The U.K. has documented 17,320 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,021 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Senior minister Michael Gove said Sunday that the government is “very concerned” about the number of deaths, Reuters reported. He added that testing has been increased, with a goal of reaching 25,000 daily from 10,000 a day currently.

Johnson was officially diagnosed with the disease on Friday. 

Last week, the U.K. banned people from leaving their homes except for medical needs, to buy essentials, exercise once a day and to travel to and from work if working from home is not possible. Gatherings of more than two people have also been prohibited. 

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