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Day 9: Key points from today's conference

Posted on March 2020 By James Southwell

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The British Prime Minister was absent from tonight's conference, instead the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock led the conference. He was joined by England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, and Prof Stephen Powis, the Medical Director of NHS England.

Matt Hancock says they're looking for 250,000 "NHS volunteers" to assist NHS staff with "shopping, delivery of medicines, and to support those who are shielded".

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

  • Brand new hospital to open in East London, with 4,000 beds. Located in the ExCel centre, the new NHS Nightingale Hospital is going to have two wards, and the ability to hold up to 4,000 patients.

  • Mr Hancock says more than 18,000 medical students will be joining the NHS and in response to the government's request for former medics to return to the NHS, 11,500 of those have come forward so far.

  • The UK has ordered 3.5 million antibody tests to help determine whether people have had the virus, this is set 'come online very soon'. In addition to the antibody tests, Matt also added they've ordered 7.5 million pieces of protective equipment for NHS staff.

  • Mr Hancock reiterates that the instructions given last night "are not requests, they are rules" and "everyone has a responsibility to follow those rules".

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 8,077, with that being 1,427 new cases since yesterday.
Total number of deaths is now at 422.

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

Here's the full conference, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph: