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Day 26: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock was joined by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and England's Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May.

The government reveals 19,116 tests were carried out in the UK yesterday - 5,706 tested positive. 19,304 people are in hospital with coronavirus symptoms, of which 8,958 coronavirus patients have sadly died.

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

  • Matt Hancock states the condition of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has improved greatly, adding " the NHS has provided the very best care possible".

  • Matt Hancock on the subject of PPE within the NHS "everyone working in a critical role must get the kit the need to protect themselves" before saying "There is a huge international demand for PPE and a global squeeze on supply," he says, with many countries placing an export ban on such equipment to meet their own needs.

  • Mr Hancock insists that "there's enough PPE to go round", but that this should be treated as a "precious resource" and only used when there's a clinical need.

  • Over 742 million pieces of PPE have been delivered to the frontline since the outbreak began states Hancock. Every NHS hospital has received a delivery every 72 hours and it will become daily over the next few days.

  • Health Secretary admits "Going into the crisis we did not have a major PPE manufacturing industry".

  • Sunderland and Exeter will soon get their own NHS Nightingale field hospitals, the chief nursing officer announces.

Professor Van-Tam says we are still in a "dangerous phase" as the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK remains at a high level. He adds it's "impossible" to say that we have peaked in terms of the number of people in hospital with the disease.

The UK "continues to be broadly in line with what is happening in other countries" in terms of deaths, says Professor Van-Tam.

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 70,272, with that being 5,195 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 8,958.

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