Coronavirus map LIVE: Boris Johnson faces huge backlash as massive legal challenge planned

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The grieving relatives say ministers “gambled” with lives by failing to enforce a nationwide lockdown quickly enough or recognise danger signs from other countries as COVID-19 outbreaks swept across Europe on its way to the UK. They are calling for an investigation into the much-criticised coronavirus testing strategy, shortages of protective clothing and several other planning issues related to the pandemic. The families have consulted legal teams and are petitioning for a public inquiry into the Government’s response to the crisis.

They are also demanding meetings with the Prime Minister and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

If the Government refuses calls to launch a public inquiry into the response to the coronavirus crisis, the lawyers representing the families are prepared to challenge the decision in the High Court.

Jo Goodman, spokeswoman for COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, lost her father, Stuart, 72, to the virus on April 2.

She fumed: “The Government must learn lessons, and quickly, to prevent more deaths should the predicted second wave hit the UK later in the year.”

The threat of legal action comes after Mr Johnson admitted parts of the Government responded “sluggishly” to the coronavirus crisis.

The Prime Minister said: “We must use this moment now, this interval to plan our response and to fix of course the problems that were most brutally illuminated in that COVID lightning flash: the problems in our social cares system, the parts of government that seemed to respond so sluggishly.”

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7.55am update: Boris Johnson to face grilling during PMQs over Leicester lockdown

The Prime minister is set to face a fresh grilling in the House of Commons today over the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic amid confusion around the reintroduction of lockdown measures in Leicester.

The Government is facing a backlash over over reacting too slowly to a spike in COVID-19 infections in the east Midlands city.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who will face Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Question, fumed people in Leicester were “crying out” for answers and suggested the Government should have moved quicker.

Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby also lashed out at the Government and Public Health England for delays in sharing case and testing data which showed how the disease was spreading.

7.33am update: China issues terrifying new warning about coronavirus ‘This is not over’

A Chinese disease control expert has cautioned that the first coronavirus outbreak is “not over at all” as part of a terrifying warning amid lockdown being eased further in the UK.

The chief epidemiologist at the Chinese CDC, Wu Zunyou, said that the pathogen would shift the way we live and work forever.=

He added that the disease would “co-exist with humans for a long time”.

Speaking on China News on Monday, Mr Wu said: “The first epidemic wave is not over at all.

“The global epidemic has been escalating since January and has stayed at a high-risk level.”

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