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Day 12: Key points from today's conference

Posted on March 2020 By James Southwell

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Unfortunately we weren't able to be joined by the Prime Minister tonight as he has tested positive for the coronavirus, our prayers are with him and everyone else. Presenting the conference instead of him was the Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, accompanied by Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser, and Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of the NHS.

We hope you all took a moment out of your evening last night to applaud for all the Healthcare professionals that are helping our most vulnerable by putting their lives at risk for us.

Key points to take away from today's speech are:

  • The rate of infection appears to be increasing drastically according to Mr Gove, who said "the best scientific analysis now, is that the rate of infection has been doubling, every 3-4 days"

  • The government has put together a new alliance between businesses, research institutes, and universities, to boost testing capacities for front line workers. Mr Gove emphasised the point that "this is a particular priority for those who work in the health and social care sector, and are working so hard to keep us safe.", and the new initiative will be a "antigen" testing to help prove whether workers are able to get back on the front line or not.

  • Simon Stevens, the Head of the NHS, says an extra 33,000 beds are currently being made, and he also went on to confirm they're building two new major Nightingale hospitals which will be located on Birmingham's NEC and the Manchester conference centre.

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 14,543, with that being 2,885 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 759.

To read a brief summary of last night's points and important measures click here.

Here's the full conference, courtesy of The Guardian: