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Downing Street says China faces a 'reckoning' over the coronavirus and risks becoming a 'pariah state' as Boris Johnson faces pressure to scrap the Huawei deal

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 28/03/2020 Harry Cole and Glen Owen for The Mail on Sunday

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Boris Johnson’s allies turned on China over the coronavirus crisis yesterday, as Britain’s death toll from the epidemic reached four figures.

Ministers and senior Downing Street officials said the Communist state now faces a ‘reckoning’ over its handling of the outbreak and risks becoming a ‘pariah state’.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauds outside 10 Downing Street during the Clap For Our Carers campaign in support of the NHS, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, March 26, 2020. Pictre taken March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauds outside 10 Downing Street during the Clap For Our Carers campaign in support of the NHS, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, March 26, 2020. Pictre taken March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

They are furious over China’s campaign of misinformation, attempts to exploit the pandemic for economic gain and atrocious animal rights record.

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The Prime Minister, who now faces Cabinet calls to reverse his decision to let controversial Chinese firm Huawei build large parts of Britain’s new 5G telecoms network, today warns that the epidemic is likely to worsen in the coming weeks – but that he expects the British ‘spirit’ to overcome the crisis.

In a letter to 30 million households, Mr Johnson – who was yesterday working in self-isolation in Downing Street after testing positive for the virus – says: ‘Things will get worse before they get better.’

Gallery: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services) 

In another dramatic day:

The latest British victims of the epidemic to be named include the first surgeon to die from the virus. 

Transplant consultant Dr Adil El Tayar, 63, who died on Wednesday, is thought to have become infected while was working at a hospital in the Midlands.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Ministers and senior Downing Street officials said the Communist state now faces a ‘reckoning’ over its handling of the outbreak and risks becoming a ‘pariah state’. People are pictured in the city of Wuhan  after lockdown restrictions were relaxed © Provided by Daily Mail Ministers and senior Downing Street officials said the Communist state now faces a ‘reckoning’ over its handling of the outbreak and risks becoming a ‘pariah state’. People are pictured in the city of Wuhan  after lockdown restrictions were relaxed

His cousin, the BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi, said: ‘Adil was a stoic and an optimist and thought he would soon recover. This virus is unforgiving, indiscriminate and it can be brutal.’

Azam Khan, 95, a four-time British squash champion, was also named among the latest victims, alongside amateur DJ Danny Sharma, 38, from London, retired telecoms engineer Pat Bewley, 79, from Suffolk, and taxi driver Spencer Kurash, 57, from Chigwell, Essex.

In his letter, which will land on doormats from Tuesday, Mr Johnson says he understands the disruption caused by the lockdown, but describes it as ‘absolutely necessary’, adding: ‘The more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost.’ And he says that it is with ‘great British spirit that we will beat coronavirus’.

a man holding a bag and walking on a street: A man is pictured wearing a hazmat suit in Wuhan, China. Boris Johnson’s allies turned on China over the coronavirus crisis yesterday © Provided by Daily Mail A man is pictured wearing a hazmat suit in Wuhan, China. Boris Johnson’s allies turned on China over the coronavirus crisis yesterday

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced yesterday that insolvency rules would be changed to allow firms greater flexibility as they dealt with the crisis.

He also unveiled measures to boost the supply of personal protective equipment, such as face masks and aprons, to front line NHS staff, and to allow new hand sanitisers to be available ‘in a matter of days’.

Following disputed reports that the death toll might be lower than feared, NHS medical director Stephen Powis urged people to stay locked down to defeat the virus, adding ‘now is not the time to be complacent... I cannot emphasise enough to everybody today – you have the chance to save a life.’

a screenshot of text © Provided by Daily Mail

As the fight against coronavirus continued, there was growing resentment towards the Chinese in No 10.

One senior Government source said: ‘Of course, the only priority now is to deal with the crisis, but everybody knows that there has to be a reckoning when all this is over.’

a screen shot of Boris Johnson playing a video game: The Prime Minister, who now faces Cabinet calls to reverse his decision to let controversial Chinese firm Huawei build large parts of Britain’s new 5G telecoms network, today warns that the epidemic is likely to worsen in the coming weeks – but that he expects the British ‘spirit’ to overcome the crisis. He is pictured addressing a Cabinet meeting via video link after testing positive for the virus © Provided by Daily Mail The Prime Minister, who now faces Cabinet calls to reverse his decision to let controversial Chinese firm Huawei build large parts of Britain’s new 5G telecoms network, today warns that the epidemic is likely to worsen in the coming weeks – but that he expects the British ‘spirit’ to overcome the crisis. He is pictured addressing a Cabinet meeting via video link after testing positive for the virus

Writing for The Mail on Sunday, former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith says: ‘For too long, nations have lamely kow-towed to China in the desperate hope of wining trade deals. But once we get clear of this terrible pandemic, it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship and put it on a much more balanced and honest basis.’

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Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.  

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