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Day 93: Key points from today's conference

Posted on June 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Returning for his weekly appearance at the daily government coronavirus conferences, PM Boris Johnson took us through the latest figures and response to the global pandemic alongside Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, and Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at the University of Oxford.

Johnson says there have now been a total of 6,981,493 tests for COVID-19, with 113,107 yesterday. The PM says there have been 298,136 positive tests for the virus.

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

  • The PM immediately took us through the latest figures with a further 233 deaths across all settings, a total of 41,969.

  • Boris Johnson has spoken with Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford on the phone, Number 10 says. Downing Street says the pair discussed the importance of making our vulnerable children a priority and Rashford thanked the PM for u-turning on a decision that could have been detrimental to the stability of families across the country.

  • Johnson says the government has been proceeding with easing with lockdown, "but only when it is safe to do so". He praises the non-essential shops that reopened on Monday and have adapted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Johnson says "it is safe" for primary school children to go back to school if they can.

  • Johnson describes the research into the effects of dexamethasone on COIVD-19 patients as the "biggest breakthrough yet" in the fight against the coronavirus.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance says the steroid is cheap and widely available and be "immediately" used across the world. Asked about the merging of the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office, the prime minister says a desire to get "better bang for our buck" is behind the decision.

  • The PM says two metres is more effective at reducing the risk of catching the virus. He adds that as the rate on infection falls, the chances of being next to someone with COVID-19 reduces. Mr Johnson says there is a "strong case" for reviewing the measure and potentially halving it, but it cannot be reduced just yet.

  • The prime minister says people should be able to attend funerals, provided they observe social distancing. He adds that "we'll be saying more about what we can do" as the next lockdown review approaches.

  • Asked about his claim back in March that the UK could "turn the tide" on the coronavirus within 12 weeks. The PM responded "I really think we did," the prime minister says. He adds that "many, many tens of thousands of lives at least" have been saved through government action.

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