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Day 13: Key points from today's conference

Posted on March 2020 By Jamie Southwell

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We're joined tonight by Business Secretary Alok Sharma and NHS England Medical Director, Prof Stephen Powis.

In the latest figures from temporary register, it shows that over 7,500 former nurses and midwives have responded to the government's call for assistance to help battle COVID-19. This request for former healthcare professionals to return, nullifies their gap between working of up to 3 years.

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

  • "We are not at capacity yet within London, but beds are being opened all the time to produce that extra surge capacity" is the response Prof Powis gave after being asked what the current situation is with intensive care beds.

  • The UK will see an increase of hand sanitizers in a matter of days as the government reduces restrictions on suppliers being able to sell them.

  • Sharma tells workers they're now able to defer their annual leave for two years, his reasoning "this will protect staff from losing out, while providing businesses with flexibility when they need it most."

  • Prof Powis emphasises how urgent it is for us to lock down right now and that we can save lives by staying inside. He finished by saying "Avoid contact with others were you can. Stay at home. If you're symptomatic isolate - and that will result in fewer deaths and less pressure on the NHS. It is that stark for all of us."

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 17,089, with that being 2,546 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 1,019.

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

Here's the full conference, courtesy of HuffPost UK: