UK to boost cycling, walking as another 346 COVID-19 patients die

  10 May 2020    Read: 1034
UK to boost cycling, walking as another 346 COVID-19 patients die

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Saturday announced a 2 billion-pound (2.5-billion-U.S. dolar) package to encourage cycling and walking amid the COVID-19 pandemic as another 346 patients have died in the country, reports citing Xinhua.

The move came as the government strives to double cycling and increase walking by 2025 with a national cycling plan being expected to be published in June.

"Swift emergency plans" to be put in place include increasing bike lanes, wider pavements for pedestrians and cycle and bus-only streets, Shapps told reporters at the Downing Street press briefing.

Public transport will remain a fraction of pre-pandemic capacity for some time, he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Sunday night to announce a roadmap to ease the current lockdown measures.

During the briefing, Shapps urged Britons to stick to social distancing measures during the sunny weekend.

"Do not throw away the great work of seven weeks of respecting the rules and guidelines because it happens to be sunny this bank holiday weekend," Shapps said.

The secretary warned that it will take some time for things to get back to normal.

"Moving beyond COVID will be a gradual process, not a single leap to freedom, so when we do emerge the world will seem quite different," Shapps said.

Another 346 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 31,587 as of Friday afternoon, according to latest figures by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

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