Prime Minister Boris Johnson told UK residents that officials "know things will get worse before they get better" in the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson wrote in an open letter to UK residents on the "moment of national emergency" posed by the pandemic, days after he tested positive and entered self-isolation.
Officials have turned to address the next steps in the pandemic response as former Prime Minister Tony Blair told Sky News that tracking future surges or new locations could lie in testing "virtually everybody."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in an open letter that officials in the United Kingdom "know things will get worse before they get better" in the novel coronavirus pandemic response.
The letter, which was posted on Twitter by 10 Downing Street, acknowledged the pandemic as a "moment of national emergency" and urged residents to follow the government's guidelines to stay home and reduce the strain on the National Health Service to ultimately "save lives."
"It's important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better," Johnson, who tested positive for the virus last week, wrote. "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."
—UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) March 28, 2020
The letter will be sent to around 30 million households, costing around £5.7 million ($7.1 million) to print and distribute to the UK's 66 million residents, Business Insider's Will Martin previously reported.
As of Sunday, at least 19,758 cases and 1,237 deaths from the novel coronavirus were recorded in the United Kingdom. Health authorities announced one day earlier that 260 deaths had pushed the total over 1,000 in 24 hours.
Since the country was put on lockdown, officials have continued to emphasize the importance of widespread testing. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove announced Sunday that 10,000 people were being tested each day and the government aims to reach 25,000 a day.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair told Sky News that a major risk lies ahead as the country eventually eases lockdown measures, similar to a spike seen in Hong Kong after the government relaxed some containment guidelines.
Blair also said that continuous testing could be key in tracking future surges or new locations of the virus.
"You may have to do those tests two or three different times because you need all the time to be able to track what's happening with the disease, to learn where, for example, there may be a surge or a hotspot of it, and take immediate action," Blair told the outlet. "I think you're talking about [testing] virtually everybody."
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