The government will not move to the “delay” phase and “social distancing” measure will not be introduced “yet.”
But, Dr David Nabarro, a World Health Organization (WHO) Covid-19 special envoy told the Standard, “We need to be aggressive. Being strong from the start truly does matter.
“Action now will determine how it will evolve in Britain in coming weeks.”
Dr Nabarro said the British government should now move to the “delay” phase but, following an emergency COBRA meeting government said the UK will remain in the “containment” phase.
A Number 10 spokesman said the government accepts coronavirus “is going to spread in a significant way.”
However, Sergio Brusin from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on Monday, “The UK is in the same situation Italy was two weeks ago.”
The Department for Health announced on Monday afternoon a “total of 24,960 people have been tested, 24,641 negative and 319” have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK and four people have died in the UK.
The former international development secretary Rory Stewart called on the government for swift action. Stewart comparing the situation with his experience dealing with Ebola in Africa.
Stewart told the Standard, “Almost always the flaw of government is to move too slowly rather than too quickly.
“People sitting around the table are so aware of the high cost taking action they keep finding another reason to say; ‘Let’s give it another couple of days’.”
He estimates that are at least 50,000 to 100,000 of coronavirus across the country, which is the worst affected country in western Europe.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said there are “no plans” for Britain to follow Italy in quarantining huge numbers and there is “no need” for people to avoid public areas.
But, Chris Booth, a consultant at the intensive care unit at Salford Royal Hospital said on Twitter, “ICU capacity is determined by staff. We will run out of nurses before we run out of beds.
“Time to stop elective activity and prepare properly? We have a unique opportunity to prepare on basis of Italian experience.”
The number of cases in Italy has risen to 7,375 in a matter of weeks with at least 366 deaths, making the country the largest infected in Europe. France has 1,209 and Germany has 1,151 cases of coronavirus.
The popular holiday destination for Brits, now has a total number of confirmed cases which stands at 1,036 with 24 dead.
The total number of confirmed cases outside of mainland China has rocketed and is currently reported to be 30,628.
However, around 23,800 of these cases have only been reported in the last nine days, at the time of writing, there are now 111,363 people across the world infected with the virus.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Dr Harris warned coronavirus outbreak is “still building” and said the rapid growth in cases across Iran and Italy are “concerning.”
Marr asked, “How far is it spreading and how fast?”
Dr Harris said, “It is indeed still building up, we are seeing particularly concerning events in Italy and Iran.
“We are seeing continued community transmission human to human in a lot of countries.
“It is still continuing to intensify.”