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Day 19: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By James Southwell

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England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock was presenting tonight's conference for the second night in a row, alongside him were Ruth May the Chief Nursing Officer in England, and Professor Jonathan Van Tam the Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

Matt Hancock starts off tonight with the saddening news that two nurses and two healthcare assistants have tragically died within the last 24 hours whilst fighting the coronavirus, reminding us that "for the NHS, this truly is the frontline".

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

  • Two more Nightingale hospitals are officially underway, one being located in Bristol, which will have the capacity of holding up to 1,000 beds, and another in Harrogate with 500 beds.

  • An agreement has been made between the Nothern Ireland Executive to help deliver over 5 million PPE items to Northern Ireland, including masks, aprons, and goggles.

  • ​The Health Secretary says they're "intensively researching drugs and treatments" through having established three national clinical trials which cover each major stage of the disease: primary care, hospital care, and critical care for the most seriously ill. The trials focus on the effect of existing drugs and steroids, and how they fare against the coronavirus.

  • ​Ruth May, the Chief Nursing Officer in England pays her respects and a tribute to her two NHS colleagues that unfortunately passed away from the disease, Aimee O'Rourke and Areema Nasreen. She finished off by making a soft request for the general public to"please stay at home for them".

  • ​We are now on a course to catch up to Italy, the worst hit European country, having been warned this would happen weeks prior when Boris Johnson announced "We are only a matter of weeks - two or three - behind Italy. The Italians have a superb healthcare system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand."

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 38,168, with that being 4,450 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 3,605.

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

Here's the full conference, courtesy of Yahoo: