UK death toll rises to 137, as schools close across country and emergency measures enacted

Emergency legislation to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak is set to be published in parliament after Boris Johnson announced the closure of schools. The Emergency Coronavirus Bill, tabled by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, will also include plans to hand police powers to arrest and isolate people to protect public health.

Meanwhile, the Army is preparing to help out in the crisis as part of a “Covid support force” and Londoners faced the prospect of greater restrictions, with up to 40 Tube stations closed on Thursday and a reduced rail service from Friday. Several supermarkets are limiting the number of products customers can buy in stores to meet the demand amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

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