Ministers preparing for potential big jump in coronavirus cases

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Government planning public information campaign amid concerns of an Italy-sized outbreak

Ministers are racing to prepare the UK for a potential sudden increase in the spread of the coronavirus, with officials fearing it could take just 72 hours for an outbreak the size of Italy’s to take hold.

Amid growing concerns around the world about the pace of the virus’s spread, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the government would launch a mass public information campaign giving advice on how to react to suspected cases and guard against infection.

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