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Day 16: Key points from today's conference

Posted on March 2020 By Jamie Southwell

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Senior minister Michael Gove opened tonight's daily covid-19 conference, he was with Dr Jenny Harries the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of England, and the NHS England National Medical Director Dr Stephen Powis

143,186 people have now been tested for the virus and of that, 25,150 have come back positive, that's 35% of cases returning with the virus.

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

  • The government is delivering on their promise to provide more ventilators as they announce plans for the new machines to be "rapidly distributed" to NHS frontlines by early next week. This was a collaborative effort between the government and a collection of big businesses such as Dyson & Mercedes.

  • "We are not out of the woods" Dr Stephen Powis warns us, while referring to the fact that the British public should continue to follow the set instructions on social distancing and not let up just because we see figures decrease.

  • NHS staff will be seeing an increase in testing capabilities, but something setting them back is the lack of chemicals for these tests. Michael Gove added that the government has been working alongside academics and the private sector to help speed this up, and that they want to ensure the postal testing system is fully functional.

  • Dr Harries says they're currently reviewing the guidance for PPE to "see if we can make some tweaks to ensure people feel safer". In addition to this, she also said an electronic system is in development for delivering an easier method for care homes to get access to the right PPE.

  • The British Army and the RAF are assisting the NHS in delivering critically ill patients to hospitals, with helicopters on standby at Kinloss Barracks, Moray.

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 25,150, with that being 3,009 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 1,789, this has been the highest recorded number of deaths over the last 24hours in the UK, our condolences to those who lost their lives and their families.

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