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Day 31: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Matt Hancock led the government's daily coronavirus briefing today, alongside England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Angela McLean as the global number of cases hits over 2 million.

12,868 coronavirus-related deaths in UK hospitals - a rise of 761 in 24 hours.

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

  • Hancock: "Spare capacity of beds in critical care has reached a new high."

  • Hancock: "We're working to introduce procedures giving people wherever possible the chance to say goodbye to loved ones."

  • Hancock: Government is working to recruit tens of thousands of people to work in social care

  • NHS workers are now being tested "regularly", whilst currently 4,100 social care staff have been "referred for tests". He says the UK's testing capacity is being built up "all the time", and "all those who need it" in the NHS and care sector can get tests.

  • Matt Hancock said it was too early to make changes and the advice remained to everybody to "stay home".

  • Deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Angela McLean says she is encouraged by flattened curve of new coronavirus cases in UK.

  • Prof McLean: Data on people in hospital beds shows epidemic is being brought to a much better trajectory and is no longer rising.

  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock is promising faster supply of personal protective equipment for social care staff and testing for all care home residents showing symptoms. Logistically, this will be very challenging.

  • The health secretary denied suggestions the lives of younger people had been prioritised at the expense of those in care homes and that people had died unnecessarily.

  • He says the UK will be introducing a "single brand" for social care, to replicate the "famous" blue and white logo for the NHS. Supermarkets will be asked to give care staff the same priority as NHS workers, and the UK will undertake a recruitment drive, with the government paying for "induction training".

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 98,476, with that being 4,603 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 12,868.

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