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Day 79: Key points from today's conference

Posted on June 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Today's daily government coronavirus conference was led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, alongside John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England.

Hancock: 135,643 tests carried out in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday. Testing capacity is just over 200,000, there is spare capacity. He reiterates the need for people with symptoms to get tested for the coronavirus.

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

  • 436 new hospital admissions yesterday, the lowest figure since 20 March. It demonstrates we are making progress against this disease.

  • 324 deaths recorded on Monday, meaning a total of 39,369.

  • Right across the world, people are angry about racial injustice. Black lives matter. The health secretary thanks BAME staff in the NHS who have been on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • If the infection rate goes up again, Hancock says ministers can make changes at a local or national level and the government has relaxed the most stringent measures while at the same time trying to keep people safe.

  • Matt Hancock is asked to explain the disparity with COVID-19's effect on BAME communities. The health secretary says there is "much more work that needs to be done" on the issue and the government is looking further at what steps it can take.

  • John Newton, testing coordinator for England, urges people not to jump to conclusions about today's report into Covid-19 risks. The report does say that coronavirus outcomes are worse for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic people, says Prof Newton, but more work is needed to find out why.

    "It is not necessarily because of their ethnicity, it may be related to their occupation or other reasons why they might be at higher levels of exposure," he tells the Downing Street press conference.

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