Coronavirus: Schools to close across UK as cases jump

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All schools in the UK will close from tomorrow amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic and a rising death toll.
Across the UK, confirmed cases of the virus rose to 2,626 on Wednesday, from 1,950 on Tuesday, reports the BBC. A total of 71 people have died.
The UK death toll has now reached 104 after 32 more people died in England after testing positive.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said school closures were vital for stemming the spread of the pandemic and freeing up essential workers. (PA/AAP)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the closures will apply for all students except children of key workers and the most vulnerable.
The measure was vital in keeping the National Health Service and emergency services going by allowing those workers to continue working.
He says with fewer children in schools, the spread of the virus will slow. The government is asking childcare centres and private schools to do the same.
Exams will not take place but the government says children will get the qualifications they need.
Political wars are fought over NHS funding. Claims and counterclaims are made about the quality of care. (AAP)
The UK National Health Service is under severe strain coping with the coronavirus. Children of essential workers will continue to attend school, the government says.

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However, health authorities are advising parents should not be left to be cared for by older grandparents – elderly people are at particular risk of coronavirus.
Johnson says government measures  could go “further and faster” in the days ahead.