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Day 33: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's conference was led by Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the government's chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance and Public Health England medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle.​

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

  • The Care Quality Commission said there were 3,084 care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks in England, up to and including 15 April.

  • Alok Sharma: Government has set up a vaccine taskforce to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Alok Sharma: Government has given green light to 21 more research projects to fight coronavirus. £14m will be injected into the project and will be added to the existing pledge of £250m from the government to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.

    "We are looking forward," says Mr Sharma. "When we make a breakthrough we will be able to manufacture millions."

  • Alok Sharma repeats that the lockdown measures will be carried on for at least another three weeks, protecting the NHS. "The worst thing we could do now is ease up too soon and allow a second peak of the virus to hit the NHS and the British people," he adds.

  • ​"We are not through this yet; we are headed in the right direction," the chief scientific adviser says. He says the number of deaths is a "tragedy", adding: "I expect unfortunately this number to continue at a plateau for a little while and then to start coming down slowly after that."

  • Alok Sharma: We cannot put a date on when we get a vaccine. He says producing a vaccine will take many months and there are no guarantees.

  • Government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance: We are confident that health service capacity will not be breached.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance: On Tuesday, officials will review current advice over face masks.

  • After warning about a "new normal" for businesses because of coronavirus. The minister says the guidance has been "very clear" about asking people to stay at home, but he says there are "certain settings" where workers will need to go in - like manufacturing and construction.  "In these circumstances, people can go into work but it is incumbent on employers to follow the Public Health England guidance for working safely," he adds. 

The overall amount of cases in the UK has now risen to 108,692 with that being 5,599 new cases since yesterday. Total number of deaths is now at 14,576.

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