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Day 77: Key points from today's conference

Posted on May 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's daily government coronavirus conference was led by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, who was joined by Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England and Dame Louise Casey, who is leading the government’s homelessness taskforce during the pandemic.


Robert Jenrick starts by confirming the latest daily figures. He says there were 1,936 new confirmed cases on Saturday. That is the first time in ages that the figure has dipped below 2,000. However, there are two important caveats. The figures always tend to be lower over the weekend and they only include people who have actually tested positive.



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

  • Mr Jenrick said more than 350,000 vulnerable people "shielding" from the virus have registered for "some form" of government support.

  • Mr Jenrick says he is "immensely grateful" to all those in the NHS who "continue to go above and beyond to support those most at risk during the virus (outbreak).

  • He added: "Now that we have passed the peak and the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community has reduced significant, we believe that the risk to those shielding is lower."

  • The UK now has the capacity to perform 200,000 tests of different kinds every day, ministers claim, hitting an end of May target set by Boris Johnson. However, only 115,725 tests were actually recorded in the past 24 hours and these include test kits mailed out to people as well as tests carried out.


  • Mr Jenrick said: "Working hand in hand with charities and local councils, we offered accommodation to over 90% of rough sleepers known to us at the start in order to help them to stay safe during the pandemic.

  • 6,000 new homes will be built to provide permanent accommodation for rough sleepers in England, including 3,300 in the next year, at a cost of £160m

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