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Day 50: Key points from today's conference

Posted on May 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's govenrment coronavirus briefing was led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, joined by England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam & Professor John Newton, the government's testing co-ordinator . The briefing takes place after announcements that the Prime Minister will be addressing eases to lockdown measures on Sunday.

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

  • Matt Hancock says a total of 28,734 people have now died after contracting COVID-19, a rise of 288.

  • Matt Hancock says the UK's testing capacity is now at 108,000. He adds he wants to give details of the government's "test, track and trace" strategy to keep the rate of transmission of COVID-19 down.

  • Matt Hancock says the pilot of the contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight will begin tomorrow.

  • Matt Hancock appeals to people living on the Isle of Wight to "embrace" the app with "enthusiasm". "Please download the app, to protect the NHS and save lives," he says.
    "This trial does not mean the end of social distancing on the Isle of Wight, or anywhere else for that matter," Matt Hancock says.

  • Professor Jonathan Van Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, says there is a "slow but consistent decline" in deaths in all settings from COVID-19.

  • Matt Hancock says the government recognises there has been a "disproportionately high" number of people from BAME backgrounds who have died with COVID-19, particularly in the NHS and social care.

    He says the government wants to learn what we can to protect people better, adding that there is already a programme of support for families of NHS workers who have died.​

  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the government aims to have its "test, track and trace" system up and running by the middle of this month.  He adds that the recruitment of contact tracers is underway, with "thousands already recruited".

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