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Day 41: Key points from today's conference

Posted on April 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's coronavirus daily briefing was led by Home Secretary Priti Patel, on the day that the UK became the fifth country to record more than 20,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19. She was joined by Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England, and Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency.

Another 813 people have died in UK hospitals - taking the total to 20,319

Ms Patel told the Downing Street briefing that through the monitoring and testing programme, as of 9am on Saturday 640,792 tests have been carried out in the UK. This includes 28,760 on Friday, she said, and 148,377 people have tested positive for COVID-19,

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

  • Home Secretary says the government's message is clear "People should stay at home, protect the NHS and stay lives."

  • The Home Secretary says some 'sophisticated' criminals are exploiting the unprecedented circumstances

  • Ms Patel said police had been called to respond to some "extraordinarily dangerous driving" as motorists take advantage of the quieter roads "as their own personal race track".

  • Ms Patel told the briefing that law enforcement agencies were "adapting" during the outbreak, as criminals continued to "capitalise on this horrendous crisis".

    "Our 'You Are Not Alone' campaign to signpost the help available and to make it clear to victims that they can still leave home, has made an incredible impact - with 98 million online impressions," she told the briefing.

  • Professor Stephen Powis, National medical director of NHS England, urges people to continue to use the NHS for emergencies not related to coronavirus and insists "the NHS is still there for you"

  • Prof Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England, says it is critical that people adhere to social distancing.  He says it would be "foolish" if the UK lost the benefits it has gained in recent weeks.

  • Professor Stephen Powis told the briefing that it was a "very sad day for the nation" after the total number of hospital deaths surpassed 20,000. The majority of those deaths - 18,084 (up 711) - are in England.

  • Prof Powis is asked when he expects a peak in cases in care homes. He says they have tried to avoid predicting when peaks occur. But he adds that Public Health England is assisting when outbreaks occur and that the government is increasing testing.

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