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Day 29: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's briefing was led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, joined in Downing Street by Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's Chief Scientific Adviser.

717 new COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the UK - taking the total to 11,329 since the crises began. As of 9am 13 April, 367,667 tests have concluded, with 14,506 tests carried out on 12 April.

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

  • The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab there are "positive signs" in the latest data but says the UK has still not got over the peak of the virus.

  • Dominic Raab says he "doesn't expect" any changes to be made to the UK's lockdown this week.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance says he thinks this week will be "difficult" with a further increase in deaths across the UK, before a plateau that will last for some time before it begins to dip.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance says social distancing is "reducing transmission within the community" and that the number of confirmed cases appears to be flattening off, but acknowledges that not all cases are being reported as many are able to stay at home rather than go to hospital.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance says there is an ongoing review into the usefulness of the public wearing face masks and that the advice will change if the scientific evidence does.

  • "The evidence suggests that we're still going through the peak of this virus," says the foreign secretary.

  • CMO Chris Whitty says hospitals are "operating very effectively and remain "below capacity" in terms of intensive care.

  • "We're now at a stage where you can begin to see the flattening," says Sir Patrick Vallance. He adds it would be a "complete waste of everything everyone's done until now" if lockdown measures were to be lifted before we are beyond the peak and the curve of new cases and deaths starts heading down.

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 88,621, with that being 4,342 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 11,329.

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