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tv   Coronavirus  BBC News  May 1, 2020 4:30pm-6:01pm BST

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this is a bbc news special, i'm clive myrie. the headlines: the goverment has expressed cautious optimism that it has met its target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of last month. setting a challenging target was the right thing to do, because it galvanised government and got thejob done, but there's a lot more to be done. the figures will be announced by the health secretary matt hancock at today's government briefing from downing street. we'll bring that to you live. ryanair becomes the latest airline to warn of thousands ofjob losses — because of the economic impact of coronavirus. donald trump says he's seen evidence that covid—19 came from a laboratory in china, but us intelligence services say the virus is not man—made.
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good afternoon. we'll have the latest government briefing from downing street on the coronavirus pandemic, led today by the health secretary, matt hancock. that is in about half an hour. but first, ministers say they're confident of hitting their target for the number of daily coronavirus tests, after the prime minister said the uk is "past the peak" of the outbreak. the government had pledged 100,000 tests a day by the end of april, with more than 81,000 taking place on wednesday. the target was 100,000 tests a day by the end of april. it's just under a month since the health secretary announced that deadline. we'll find out later whether the ambition was achieved. are you confident you'll meet your testing target? more than 81,000 tests were carried
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out in the uk on wednesday, after more people became eligible — including those over the age of 65 in england who have symptoms, and care home residents and staff who don't. setting a challenging target was the right thing to do, because it galvanised government and got thejob done, but there's a lot more to be done, and we need to increase that figure — whether it's100,000 or thereabouts — much higher in the days and weeks to come. it's notjust about testing, though. tracing those who've got the virus and tracking the spread of it is key. thousands of people are being been hired to do just that by the middle of the month. while in scotland, testing is also being expanded, there's a reminder it's not the cure or the sole way out of the lockdown. it remains the case that right now, the most important thing we are all doing is staying at home and following the lockdown rules. as i said yesterday, that is making a difference and it is allowing us to start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. but as i also said yesterday,
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that progress is fragile and if we ease up now, that light could be extinguished. after announcing yesterday that we are past the peak, the prime minister will reveal plans for a way out of some of the lockdown next week. but any strategy will have to be carefully balanced against risking increasing the rate of virus transmission. that's going to be quite a challenge, because when the restrictions were brought in, it was the same restrictions for everyone. and i think it's going to be a challenge when there are going to be different restrictions lifted for different sections of the population, because the collective solidarity has been such an important part of adhering to and making the strategy successful. latest figures collected by google reveal retail footfall is three quarters lower than at the start of the year, but visits to parks have crept back up and are just 10% below normal. over the next six weeks,
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the nhs will be restarting more non—covid—related care, finding different ways of working and treating patients. we don't want to go back to crowded a&e departments. the president of the royal college of emergency medicine rightly points out that would be a disastrous step backwards because you could then go to a&e and catch coronavirus. so, we need to find a way, as services to resume, to keep patients safe. masks may have a part to play in what will be the new normal, even ifjust to make some feel safer. more than one million people around the world have now recovered. the road we'll take next will become clearer in a few days but, regardless of targets, testing is likely here to stay. lauren moss, bbc news. and lauren moss is here with me now. i think it was monday, we got the number of tests per day, it was barely over 30,000, and four days later, it looks as if they are
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pretty close, if not beyond 100,000, how have they done it? yesterday the government said they had carried out 81,611 government said they had carried out 81 , 611 tests, government said they had carried out 81,611 tests, 55,000 people tested. to give you an idea of how this has increased, two weeks ago, they had done 21,000 test the day before, so this has massively increased, a 30,000 increase between tuesday to wednesday in fact. we know over the last couple of weeks that that testing has been really increased in a number of ways. you have mobile testing with the army involved, the regional sites and the home testing kits. but also, the eligibility of those people who can get tested. previously, it was people who are the most poorly and ended up in hospital that were tested and then front line nhs staff with symptoms. now in england, anyone over the age of 65 with symptoms, care home residents and staff who don't have symptoms can also get tested, key workers, that was also announced and people can buck tests online. on wednesday, the government said
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14,700 wednesday, the government said 111,700 home tests were booked and 33,000 drive—through appointments. that was on wednesday, we don't have their say‘s figures yet, we should get them shortly. all those measures combined, the government will be hoping, will help them reach that 100,000 target. fingers crossed they will have reached the target, they need to go way beyond that if there is likely to be any significant easing of the lockdown restrictions the prime minister has indicated could take place next week, because not just could take place next week, because notjust do could take place next week, because not just do you could take place next week, because notjust do you need to test people, you need to track the people they have potentially come into contact with. where they have gone and also contact that this people. exactly, we took about 100,000 tesco that was the target set out on the 2nd of april by the health secretary. although it is a huge number, what does it mean if the rest of the steps a re does it mean if the rest of the steps are not followed 7 does it mean if the rest of the steps are not followed? ——100,000 tests. the more the better, but the
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key strategies are testing, tracking and tracing. chasing the people that have got it and tracking the spread of disease. 18,000 people are being recruited to help with contact tracing. the app will be ready in a couple of weeks that lets people if they have tested positive and people they have tested positive and people they have tested positive and people they have come into contact with. but we don't expect to see that for a couple of weeks. these are the key measures the government needs to have in place to ensure those five tests are met. making sure the nhs will not be overwhelmed, there is enough testing and ppe and easing any lockdown would not risk another second peak of the virus that would overwhelm the nhs. although the testing figures, 100,000 important to matt hancock, this afternoon, thatis to matt hancock, this afternoon, that is not the only thing they need to do. we will leave it there, thank you, lauren moss, our health correspondent. this afternoon, the prime minister held calls with ten metro mayors across the uk. they were told they had an ‘important role to play‘ in the uk's recovery plan
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from the coronavirus pandemic. greater manchester mayor andy burnham was a part of the discussions. we spoke to him earlier about what elements the government has to consider when planning the lockdown exit strategy. well, the prime minister was clear it is going to be set out next week. so all i was doing was giving my perspective on how i see it. i have been clear all along that a region by region release from lockdown would be very problematic. so would a very strict sectoral release. because that, i think, would hold back businesses in certain parts of the economy. so i had been talking about a safety lead or a standard slide release from lockdown and i am pleased that seems to be the noise coming out of the government as well. permission to open comes with whether or not you have got the right arrangements in the workplace. and that, it would seem, is whether government is increasingly at. so i think we can come to an agreement about all of this. of course, it still means it is a phased return to work because if you are going to
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operate social distancing in the workplace, or your employees can't come back at once. that is going to be important really because we cannot run public transport at full capacity for many months. so it is about getting all of this together andi about getting all of this together and i think there is a growing consensus 110w and i think there is a growing consensus now about how we will make this process work, once we have hit the point where it is safe to do so. lots of talk about testing today. you've been sending in your questions on testing, tracing and the lockdown. with me to help answer some of them is jimmy whitworth. he's a professor of international public health at the london school of hygiene and tropical medicine. he joins us from fishguard, in pembrokeshire. i'm alsojoined by devi sridhar — she's a professor of global public health at the university of edinburgh, and she's in edinburgh. thank you very much indeed for being with us. first question for you,
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jimmy. we'll testing be extended to households, for example testing on personally in each household to better understand the number of asymptomatic carriers?|j better understand the number of asymptomatic carriers? i think once we get the testing, tracking and tracing programme in place, yes, that will happen. if we had a case 01’ that will happen. if we had a case ora that will happen. if we had a case or a suspected case in a household, then the other members of that household will be contacted so they will be tested. so it is not so much to know about how widespread the virus is within the population, but it is just part of the strategy so that we are able to identify people when they are incubating the disease, when they might be transmitting it, but before they feel sick. and that is a key way in which we will be able to get one step ahead of the spread of the virus. that question was from ashley in kingston upon thames. this is
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from susan stelling, devi. why was test, track and trace not started from the very beginning when it was extremely clear we were heading for a pandemic? i think that is a misconception. it was occurring in the early months in february and cases were being identified and traced. in march, a decision was made by the government this was a virus that was unstoppable and it would be like flu and we should just ina sense would be like flu and we should just in a sense let it go and let the bulk of the population be exposed and try to ensure the nhs could stand up to it. when it became clear from italy that this virus affects younger people and not just those over 70 or 80 younger people and not just those over70 or80 and younger people and not just those over 70 or 80 and that actually, by the nhs would collapse if it was left unchecked as well as we have a lot of people dying in all age groups, the decision was made to lockdown. so now in this lockdown, there is time to build back up that infrastructure to a large—scale level, probably never to a level we
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have seen before in the uk, to try to get a handle on the spread of the virus in so many parts of the country. so the lockdown has helped with the process of getting in place an infrastructure for testing? yes, definitely. i think right now, lockdown is useful first in terms of making sure that we stay with —— within nhs capacity and it is more importantly giving time to build up the public health infrastructure to make sure that when it does left, we have a good idea of where the viruses and we have a good strong testing programme in place across the country, we have tracing up and running to identify who people have beenin running to identify who people have been in contact with and we also have some kind of strategy around isolation and how to make sure once people know they have the virus or have been exposed to it, that they isolate. this is how you break the transmission and get a handle on it. let's go on to another question, jimmy, from kenneth pinder in manchester. he says, if you are eligible to take a coronavirus
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tested today, do you need to take one every day afterwards as you can catch the virus at any time? yes, thatis catch the virus at any time? yes, that is a very good question. the tests being used are the nose and throat swab tests and they tell you if you have the infection now. they don't tell you if you might be incubating it in the future or anything. so it just incubating it in the future or anything. so itjust tells you about the situation now. that means that if you continue to have symptoms, then you probably will need another test at some stage. and this is what we have been seeing with other similar programmes that have happened in other countries around the world. they have found that on average, for every case, we have needed to do 50 or 60 tests. that is because some of the people you test turn out to be negative and stay negative. 0thers need to be tested
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several times. and of course, all the contacts need to be tested and they may need to be tested several times as well. so as devi has said, if we are going to set up a programme like this for the kinds of numbers we are expecting, that we need to expect that there will be an awful lot of tests need to be done. 0k. a question from yes you patel for you, my country. why have countries like new zealand have very few deaths compared to the uk? so, early on, new zealand decided to go for elimination of this virus so instead of flattening the curve, crunching it. so they very early on lockdown their society and they closed their borders and aggressively went after this virus. so far, then they have been very successful at this and they are untracked for what they call elimination which is whenever a new
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case arises, they can immediately get on top of it. there is also something quite unique about new zealand, it is a population of 4.8 million. around the same landmass as we have for the entire united kingdom. so having a smaller population size also helps. sure. can you pause it any idea as to why perhaps we decided to flatten and not crunch? -- can you propose? jimmy can't speak about this, it is ha rd jimmy can't speak about this, it is hard to eliminate a virus, especially one that spread to respiratory means, so to do this is really, you have to balance what you have to do, which means basically to lockdown your bodies and individuals and go after this aggressively and there is always a question of what happens when you open borders. but i think we are seeing more and more countries attempting this path, in east asia, australia will attempt to do this. but it seems like rather than focus on elimination, the goal should be just keeping your daily new cases as low should be just keeping your daily new cases as low as should be just keeping your daily new cases as low as possible to buy time because there is a lot we don't
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know about this virus and the more time we have to figure out if there isa time we have to figure out if there is a therapy or a treatment or a vaccine, the better it is in the long term. a question from tim, why no testing, tracking and quarantine at airports? at the moment, where would you be wanting to stop people coming in from? there are cases all over the world. there are cases in the uk. it would be very hard to say that we didn't want people to come in from some country now into the uk when we have such a lot of cases occurring. at the moment i don't think it would make any sense at all for us to do that. in any case, there are very few flights and very few people coming in. if we roll this on a few weeks or a few months, when we have managed to get the number of cases
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in this country down to very low levels, then i think certainly we will want to have measures at our borders to make sure people coming in are safe. and that might involve some period of quarantine and testing during that period to ensure people don't start to pass this on within the country. we can go to another question for devi. this is another question for devi. this is an anonymous question and a pretty big one again. what can we learn from other countries? there is a huge amount we can learn from other countries and the way this virus has progressed across the world, it's almost like having a time machine. if you look at east asia first, then europe and north america, and now the outbreaks are moving to sub—saharan africa and south asia. what we lead from east asia, a couple of lessons to keep your case is low. south korea is a particular
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paradigms with no new locally acquired infections in the last 24 hours and that is remarkable. the test, trace and isolate and go aggressively after the virus. secondly, protect your front line on health workers. third, surveillance, track the virus, where is it and when clusters emerge, immediately get on top of it. fourth, watch importation of cases. watch your borders that could set off local clusters. next, communication and be clear, straightforward and honest with the population. and finally, south korea has been lucky not to lock down, but if the situation arises like in singapore when cases ta ke arises like in singapore when cases take off, lockdown fast to get a handle on it, build up the public health infrastructure and then get out of lockdown as fast as possible. this is from doctor robert crowder. this is from doctor robert crowder. this is from doctor robert crowder. this is forjimmy, given social distancing on planes and in airports will be difficult, as pre—flight
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testing for coronavirus been considered? yeah, that's a good question. this reminds me of a situation we had with ebola where if you remember we had testing and questionnaires of people returning to the uk from west africa. actually, it would be much more efficient to do the screening before people get on flights rather than after they get off flights. that's exactly the same for coronavirus. however, national authorities are only able really to operate within their own country and so it would actually be really difficult as an organisational topic to try to do this when people are getting on flights. there are 200, 300 people
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getting on a flight and they might be going to a dozen different countries. you'd have to have agreements with all those countries, that prescreening arrangements were a cce pta ble that prescreening arrangements were acceptable in the country where you we re acceptable in the country where you were going and i think that would be really ha rd to were going and i think that would be really hard to arrange. in theory it's a good idea but in practice what think will happen is the arrangements will be having arrived in your country of destination and then for there to be quarantine and testing. this final question is from kelly sent through twitter for devi. when schools eventually go back what precautions will be put in place to ensure all staff and pupils remain protected ? ensure all staff and pupils remain protected? i think the role of children in transmission is ultimately a big question. we know children can carry the virus and generally when children acquire the
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virus they have very mild symptoms. it is very rare to see children affected by it. the question with schools is protecting teachers and parents, especially those with pre—existing health conditions, as well as protecting the broader community around the school. if we can geta community around the school. if we can get a good handle on that question when schools reopen, it could be done in quite a safe way if we understand how transmission emerges and whether the virus will infect a broader spread like the flu or whether it will be quite different. we will end it there, thank you to the viewers for questions and thank you to professors devi sridhar and jimmy whitworth. now, hospital intensive care units are the frontline of the pandemic, access is restricted, but the bbc‘s christopher bobyn was invited to spend a 12—hour nightshift with the team in a hospital near glasgow. here's his report.
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8pm at hairmyres hospital, start of the 12 hour night shift for the intensive care unit. an icu now reserved for only one kind of patient, those with coronavirus. inside, there is only calm and compassion. no rushing, no panic, just composed, professional purpose. keep the patients alive through the night. how long has he been on a ventilator? he has now been here for 23 days. a lot of the treatment for coronavirus is actually supportive. we don't have a magic drug that will treat it, so it is about how we support people's organs to get through it, and the whole sort of medical community has rapidly come together to understand and adapt, to tell us how to treat it in a way we don't normally see. we are used to families coming, obviously it's a really upsetting time for them. but the patients are never
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on their own, there is always a nurse with the patient, all the time, you know, if a patient, sadly, if they are at the end of their life, there is always somebody with them, they are never left on their own. like in any conflict, those manning the front line hope for quiet, and for hours at a time, it can be still. until it's not. unfortunately he's ta ken a significant deterioration tonight. his oxygen levels are extremely low. we know previously, that really turning him on his front, his oxygen levels have got much better, and we are at the stage, really, where there isn't much else that we can do. it's amazing, isn't it, that we have all this technology, and actually, in essence what we have done is put him on to another side, you know.
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but as you can see that's what we have had to do to keep him alive tonight. amid the tireless work and hardship, there are now also stories that inspire hope. he said "what do you want us to do, do you want us to resuscitate you? "you need to resuscitate me, i says, "because i've got a grandson coming. you keep me alive, no matter what", i says, "because i need to see my grandson." 8.00am, and a dawn without any further deaths. and for this tired icu team, a successful shift, nursing patients through the dark night of a pandemic. christopher bobyn, bbc news. figures published by the office for national statistics show the covid—19 mortality rate in more deprived parts of england has been more than twice that experienced in more affluent areas. and food banks say they are giving out a record amount of emergency supplies. the trussell trust, which supports most of the uk's food banks, says demand was up by more than 80% in the last two weeks of march,
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compared with the period last year. michael buchanan reports. well, it's very embarrassing, really. you know, that you're having to come to ask for food. because you've no cash in your bank account to buy it. i used to work at the airport, but obviously with all this coronavirus, i've been temporarily laid off. you never know what's happening behind closed doors. but food banks are getting a glimpse into people's lives. at st paul's church in leeds, they're feeding more people than ever. demand is up 80% on the same time last year. among the new clients is sharon wareham, who was a cleaner at leeds bradford airport until the pandemic put paid to herjob. she's collecting food for herself and her in—laws. if it wasn't for the food banks, then it would be quite hard. because when i've got all my household bills, rent, gas, electric, it leaves me with next to nothing. sharon's mother has been forced here, too. she is waiting on an operation and her husband was sent home from work to protect him
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from the virus. you can have a meal, you don't have to go without. it may not be the food that you'd usually buy, because it's so dear now to go to a supermarket, but at least they give you essential food, so you can make a meal out of it. across the country, the trussell trust say there was an 80% increase in demand during the last two weeks in march, compared to the same period last year. families in particular are needing help. food parcels for households with children increased by over 120%. some people, unfortunately, didn't even get furloughed. there have been a number of people we've met that have actually been laid off, as opposed to furloughed. so they suddenly found themselves without income, when they've had a perfectly reasonable income to support their families prior to this. so it's been a huge shock to people. anti—poverty charities have welcomed the steps the government has taken to support incomes and manyjobs. but they say more targeted support, such as further benefit
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changes, is now needed to protect poor households. michael buchanan, bbc news. a bit of breaking news from new york. 0ne a bit of breaking news from new york. one of the worst affected cities in america as a result of a coronavirus pandemic, and it has the largest school system in the country. the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, says state schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. so the largest school system in the united states, the governor of the state of new york has made it clear that all the state schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year asa the remainder of the academic year as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus. new york, one of the worst affected areas in the whole of the united states.
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we're waiting for today's downing street news conference, expected at around 5pm. health secretary matt hancock will be leading it, together with professorjohn newton, coordinator of the uk coronavirus testing programme, and professor stephen powis, medical director, nhs england. let's get more from our political correspondent, jess parker, who's at westminster. we will get, finally, one way or the other, details on whether or not the government has reached its self—proclaimed target of 100,000 coronavirus self—proclaimed target of 100,000 coro navi rus tests self—proclaimed target of 100,000 coronavirus tests for april. yes, it was back in early april that matt hancock set that target. he had come under considerable political pressure because some are said to the government was not doing enough on testing and testing figures were
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lagging rather low. he then declared the government would be aiming for 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month, which was yesterday. the government said they wouldn't be able to provide those figures on the day, there would be a little bit of a lag and we are expecting to hear in the coming moments whether they have reach that target. there has beenin have reach that target. there has been in confident mood music coming from ministers that they think they can get to or near that target. some might question, what's the significance of reaching 100,000 tests a day across the country will stop one of the things is of course that the plans to eventually ease lockdown, one of the essential elements of that will be a test and track and trace strategy, a tactic that has been deployed successfully in places like south korea. the government wanting to do that in order to be able to isolate cases and work out who may have the virus, ask them to stay at home and also alert people who may have come into
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contact with other people who have tested positive for coronavirus. it's seen as an essential part of that ongoing strategy. it looks like contact tracing might be trialled in places like the isle of wight. michael gove, senior cabinet minister, yesterday raised that possibility. also talking about perhaps the scottish islands as well, to see how contact tracing works out going forward and an nhs app is being worked on as part of that project. matt hancock set himself this 100,000 target, something of a political target and many thought it was incredibly ambitious for him to do that. the figures were lagging at around 20,000 for quite some time but in recent days and weeks they have been upping the numbers. ministers expressing some confidence this afternoon they may get there but we will have to wait and see in the coming few moments. they have increased the number,
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there is the app for contact tracing, they are beginning to get a handle on that part of dealing with a pandemic. does that suggest it is more than likely now that we may see an easing of the lockdown next week? i think what we are going to get next week is more of a road map. something that has been made pretty clear by ministers in the last few weeks is that when the lockdown is eased,it weeks is that when the lockdown is eased, it will be a very gradual and very cautious and very slow process. they never rule out for example if they eased some measures in some areas, they could re—tighten them if they think it is causing an issue in terms of infection rates. you noticed yesterday when boris johnson, i think we are beginning to see the start of the daily press conference with matt hancock the secretary —— the health secretary. good afternoon and welcome once again to the downing street daily coronavirus briefing. i am joined by professorjohn newton who coordinates our work on testing and
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by professor —— tree, the director of the nhs. every day, we are working to protect the nhs by slowing the spread and building the capacity so at all times, the nhs has got the capacity to give the very best care to everybody who needs it. and today's briefing, after setting out the daily statistics, i want to talk about testing. but before hand, i would like to share some really good news. earlier this week, i said that we are now able to begin the restoration of nhs services. now that we are past the peak, i can tell you about the next step. the restoration of fertility services. few families have been untouched by the amazing advances in fertility treatments over the past generation. and i know just treatments over the past generation. and i knowjust how time sensitive
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fertility treatment can be and how important it is for the families affected. and i know that this treatment can change lives for the better forever. so when treatment can change lives for the betterforever. so when i treatment can change lives for the better forever. so when i say thank you to all of you, everybody watching, staying at home protect the nhs, of course i am saying to thank you on behalf of the lives that you are saving, but i am also saying thanks in behalf of the lives that the nhs can now once again helped to create. because together, we have protected the nhs and we are now restoring the nhs and restoring the chance for so many couples to start a family. turning to the figures. 177,454 people have tested positive for coronavirus, an
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increase of 6200 since yesterday. 15,111 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus. 27,510 people have now sadly died across all settings, an increase of 739. as one, we will remember them and treasure their memories. this is a virus that has a devastating impact on families, friends, local communities and right across government, we are working day and night to defeat it. at the beginning of last month, at this podium, i set a goal that anyone who needs a test should get a test. and that is a nation, we should achieve 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month. i knew that it was an audacious goal, but we needed an
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audacious goal, but we needed an audacious goal. because testing is so important for getting britain back on our feet. i so important for getting britain back on ourfeet. i can so important for getting britain back on our feet. i can announce that we have met our goal. the number of tests yesterday, and the last day of april, was 122,347. this unprecedented expansion in british testing capability is an incredible achievement, but it is not my achievement. it is a national achievement. it is a national achievement. achieved by a huge team of people working together. and i tell you this, the testing capacity that we have built together will help every single person in this country. testing is crucial to suppress the virus. i know from personal experience, too, just how much people with symptoms wants to know if they have got the disease. i know if they have got the disease. i know that i did. it helps remove the
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worry, it helps keep people safe and it will help us to unlock the lockdown. so many people have tragically died and the challenge that we still face is fast. but we are making real progress. —— is huge. i want to take a moment to thank and pay tribute incredible tea m thank and pay tribute incredible team who did this together. and who joined in one of the greatest national mobilisation is that we have seen. we brought together the best civil servants, the best minds from the private sector, the best scientists, the best lab technicians and the best of the best in the armed forces. setting, stretching ambitious goals in a crisis has a galvanising effect on everybody involved, it is a mission. if we hadn't been so bold, if we had chosen a safer, easier path, ijust can't see how we would have built the capacity that we need. in a few
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short weeks, we have created a new test for the virus, we have built a network of regional testing centres, we have put a fleet of mobile testing units on the road and created home testing kits so if you can't get to the test, we can get the test to you. we have more than doubled the capacity of nhs and public health england lapse. created three brand—new mega labs to analyse the results —— laboratories. so many people have played a part in this work. british diagnostic companies like run docs and medical wire and samba. logistic companies like the royal mail and yodel who are bullied and got us out of a hole this week. academics like professor derek cooke and professor bell from oxford. deloitte you have delivered our drive to centres. astrazeneca, gsk.
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public health england and the nhs of course you have pulled out all the stops. professor sharon peacock, professorjohn newton. and the uk bio centre and the quick who set up high—tech laboratories. and it wasn't just a national high—tech laboratories. and it wasn'tjust a national effort, people from across the world including thermo fisher and amazon from the us. qiagen from germany and russia from switzerland. and this is how we did it. because everybody worked together with grit and determination to reach a shared goal and they thrived because the team contains diversity of perspective and background and critically a diversity of thought. and when things went wrong, which they did every single day, believe me, we didn't ask who we could blame, we asked how we could fix it. so, to my team, iwant asked how we could fix it. so, to my team, i want to say, you toiled tirelessly at night and day and i am
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so proud of what you have achieved. and to all of you on behalf of government, on behalf of the whole country, thank you. as the prime minister said, a big increase in testing provides a way to unlock the puzzle of coronavirus. and testing forms the first element of our plan to test, trace, isolate. by mid—may, we will have 18,000 contacts traces in place, that work is under way as we speak. and if it needs to be bigger, we will scale it as required. the combination of contacts traces and new technology to our new covid—19 nhs app will help tell us where the virus is spreading and help everyone to control new infections. people will be able to know if they have been in close contact with someone who is transmitting the disease and take the action that they need to. our full—scale test, trace, isolate model will drive the infection rate
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down and the lower the r and the lower the number of new infections, the more effective the track and trace the more effective the track and tra ce syste m the more effective the track and trace system will be. tracking and tracing will allow us to get our down and hold our down, so it will allow us to lift lockdown measures. now, this disease affects us all indiscriminately, we have seen that. in recent weeks, we have had to impinge on historic liberties to protect our nhs and our loved ones. and yet, our goal must be freedom. freedom from the virus, yes, and we will not lift measures until it is safe to do so. but also, we care about the restoration of social freedom and economic freedom, too. each citizen's right to do as they please. for now, we are working together to stay home, we are impinging on the freedom of all for the safety of all. with this next
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mission, of test, trace, isolate, i am looking for a solution that allows us by each other‘s participating to target the measures that are needed with much more precision. and so, to reassert as much as is safely possible the liberty of us all. that is our next mission. but for now, the most important thing for everyone to do to keep our —— to keep r down and to get us all through this is to maintain the spirit and the result that has had such an impact so far. so, please, stay at home, protect the nhs, and save lives. now, professor newton will set out more details on testing and then i will ask professor powis to set out and ta ke ask professor powis to set out and take us through the slides. thank you very much, secretary of state. cani you very much, secretary of state. can i also thank you on behalf of
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the programme for those kind words of thanks? it has been a truly extraordinary collaboration, thank you very much. we have reached an important milestone, but i want to explain why we need all this testing. back in march, the country moved into lockdown because the virus was circulating widely not because we did not have enough tests. cases were popping up with no obvious to other cases and the infection was entering the exponential growth phase and at that point, access to limitless testing, evenif point, access to limitless testing, even if we had had it, would have made no difference. the decision to enter lockdown would have been the same and taken at the same time. in the same way the route out of lockdown has not been blocked by low levels of testing, we can relax social distancing only when the government's five tests are met and that means the degree getting the infection rate right down. testing will come at the secular state pension can help to keep it under control once we are out of lockdown, but our levels of testing have not kept us in lockdown a day longer ——
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the secretary of state mentioned. people talk aboutjimmy lutz, jimmy had a lot of tests available from the get—go, but there was also a lot less virus around when you introduce social distancing —— germany. and it was circulating in younger people. asa was circulating in younger people. as a cmo pointed out earlier, we should not rush to draw conclusions about relationships between number of tests available and outcomes in different countries. but as the cmo said, we are learning from other countries and we have learnt from the experience of other countries. but back to the here and now, where does this leave us in the uk? well, the 100,000 tests a day target was set for two purposes. the secretary of state mentioned it was intended to motivate the programme and set the scale of our ambition and it has certainly done that. more importantly, perhaps, we knew from our calculations that we would need something like this level of testing to be ready for the next phase of the response to the pandemic. looking to the future, then, we now have a very substantial and flexible
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testing capability in the uk. it will be used to drive extensive contact tracing to control any new infections. to help us keep patients and staff safe in hospitals and care services. and to tell us with some precision how the virus has spread across the country and is spreading in the future. if we can quickly identify who may have been in contact with someone infected, we can contact with someone infected, we ca n p reve nt contact with someone infected, we can prevent them from passing it on and so drive down transmission rates of the virus. now, the new nhs app for contact tracing is also in development and making rapid progress and the more people who sign upfor progress and the more people who sign up for the new app when it goes live, the better informed our response will be and are more effective we will be in keeping the virus under control. all this progress with testing and with our design of the next phase of contact tracing and the app frees ministers and their scientific advisers to
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choose whatever future strategies are best suited to keep the country safe. i can assure you that the testing capability we have built in the last few weeks is world leading its scale and sophistication and gives us the flexibility we need. as the pandemic evolves, we will have the pandemic evolves, we will have the testing capacity to meet changing demands across the country. it is now there to serve us all. thank you. thanks very much, john. professor powis, if you will take us through the slides. thank you very much, secretary of state and good afternoon, everybody. the magnificent response of the british public to the government's request to comply with social distancing instructions means we have been able to get on top of the virus, we have seen the transmission rate fall to below one and that means the number of new infections is falling in communities meaning pressure has been kept off the nhs,
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which has responded magnificently to make sure patients have always had available the treatment they require. and over time this also has an impact on the unfortunate number of deaths we have seen. as we move to the next phase of managing covid—19 i think the first thing i would like to do is remind everybody of the five tests the government has set for adjusting the current lockdown. the first i have already referred to, that the nhs continues to have sufficient capacity to provide the critical care requirements that are needed, but also specialist treatment right across the uk. secondly, it's that sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from coronavirus, and we are beginning to see that, but we need to make sure that is maintained. third, the reliable data to show the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels
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across the board. again, as i have said, it's everybody's efforts in complying with social distancing that means infections have fallen and will continue to fall. fourthly, this has been a challenge notjust in the uk but globally, around the operational response to a pandemic. that includes ppe, and includes other things, and moving forward knee we need to ensure those challenges, and testing is one of them, are in the hand and we are in a good position going forward to meet future demand. and finally, and critically, that any adjustments going forward don't risk a second wave, a second peak of infections that again runs the risk of overwhelming our health systems. those are the five key tests that have been set, and the government will look to be confident that it has met those before it moves to the next phase of the lockdown, and the
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measures we will need to take going forward to stay on top of this virus and ensure infection rates bit remain low. in the next slide we provide some details on exactly how the british public have complied. the first is an example on how people have been approaching contact, particularly with vulnerable people over a period in the middle part of april, showing that 84%, the great majority of adults, have said they have either not left their home or only left their home for permitted reasons. and it's a great testament to the efforts that the british public have gone to to ensure we reduce infections, also limiting contact with elderly and vulnerable people. 0n the right of the slide, the information on numbers of people working from home since social distancing measures were introduced,
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showing 45% of adults in employment working from home, compared to around 12% last year. a great increase in those who are not going out, staying home and managing to work without having to go to their usual place of work. on the third slide, we begin to see the testing information, as the secretary of state and john have said, the number of tests have increased dramatically, but it's notjust the fa ct dramatically, but it's notjust the fact the numbers have increased, the capacity has also increased so we can use testing for a far wider range of purposes. you have already heard some of the areas where that will be critical going forward in the months ahead. in the fourth slide, we show the new cases as determined by positive tests. you will see that has increased a bit in re ce nt will see that has increased a bit in recent days, but that should be seen in the context that we have increased the number of tests in the
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round, so there is more testing and more testing of different groups of individuals, so that is likely to bring more positive tests as a result. but overall, i think the number is relatively stable, and that's a good sign and reflects the level of infection is falling. in the next slide we moved to people who unfortunately, and again, it is a mild illness for the great majority of people, but for the proportion that have to be admitted to hospital, you can see that since the middle of april, numbers of people in hospital with covid—19 have been falling, particularly marked in london, which was ahead in terms of infection rates, and therefore that fall has come quickest in london. it is starting to move down, may be at a slower level, in other regions of the uk but overall, the trend is downwards. that also translates in the next
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slide to people who, again, a small minority, but an important group, that have to be treated in our critical care facilities. this shows the proportion of people with covid—19 in critical care beds, and again, that is falling in the four nations. and the absolute number of people in critical care beds, not just the percentage, but the actual number, is also declining. and finally we move unfortunately, to the sad deaths that have occurred. again, we are now showing deaths in all settings. previously, up untila few days ago, we were only showing deaths in hospital settings but we have now expanded this, and those numbers vary from day to day and there is also a reporting lag at the weekend, but the seven day rolling average, to smooth out that daily variation, is showing the number of deaths is beginning to trend downwards. and finally we have the usual international comparison
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against other countries. again, this comes with the usual caveat that this sort of comparison is really important, it is now uk all settings, but the real comparison is in all—cause mortality, so in excess deaths in countries, that is measured more consistently between countries, but there will be some time before that analysis can be done. although it is important to show this data, it is also important to remember it will be a number of months and perhaps longer before we can see the true comparison between countries. and finally, to remind people, the hardships we have been going through and the compliance with social distancing, it is working, the key thing is it must continue to work so we all must continue to work so we all must continue to work so we all must continue to not think this is over. this is really the beginning, but it is translating into benefits in the pressure on the nhs and on reduction
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in deaths, and it's important we all keep it up. thank you. thank you, steve. the first question is from andrew from leeds, whojoins steve. the first question is from andrew from leeds, who joins us steve. the first question is from andrew from leeds, whojoins us by video. hello, my question is, when lockdown restrictions are lifted and schools open, will there be fines if people choose to keep children off school, even if it is open for their age group? and how will you make sure the public is confident it is safe? thank you, andrew, a really important question. 0ur safe? thank you, andrew, a really important question. our aim safe? thank you, andrew, a really important question. 0uraim is safe? thank you, andrew, a really important question. our aim is that when it is safe to do so, we will make recommendations of changes like this. but we will only do it when it is safe to do so. so we are not going to reopen schools if it isn't safe. 0f going to reopen schools if it isn't safe. of course, this disease, thankfully, doesn't appear to give children symptoms nearly as bad as
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adults. so it is much, much, much safer for children, adults. so it is much, much, much saferfor children, and adults. so it is much, much, much safer for children, and maybe professor stephen powis can add something on that. but we will not reopen until it is safe to do so. that's your second question, and on the first, as and when we reopen schools, our goal is to get back to the norm and the position as it was before. i'm pretty confident that because we will only do it when it is safe then at that point it will be entirely reasonable and become normal again to send your children to school. is the secretary of state has said, it is perfectly correct that this virus affects children much less than it does the elderly and older adults, so they are much less affected by the effects of
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having covid—19. as we said the last time we were here, there have been some very rare time we were here, there have been some very rare reports about complications in children and we are continuing to look for that and trying to understand if there is any link, but the overall message is for children this is a mild disease, or one produces very little symptoms. we need to be cautious when we think about opening schools and we need to think carefully and advise the government appropriately on how that might happen. but the key thing is that this is not a serious disease for the vast majority of children, andindeed for the vast majority of children, and indeed younger people. it's important to remember, isn't it, that the reason we had to take the decision to close schools was on the impact of schools and transmission, not on the safety of children. that's important to bear in mind and
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i hope reassuring. the next question is from stuart from redditch. stuart asks, given the large investment that has gone into creating the nightingale hospitals, will we make use of them going forward to help reduce nhs waiting lists at the right time as we come through this pandemic? the answer to your question, stuart, is we will do what we need to to reduce nhs waiting lists as we reopen the nhs, but the nightingale hospitals were designed very specifically for patients who are intubated very specifically for patients who are intu bated and very specifically for patients who are intubated and therefore under anaesthetic. so they are specifically designed for covid, but steve was behind that project, so maybe you can say more. the secretary of state is quite right, the nightingale hospitals have been designed with specific purposes in mind. the nightingale centre in east london at the excel centre was created in order to be used if we
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needed extra capacity for ventilated patients. we have used the nightingale in london, but fortunately we have managed that surge because of the compliance that the british public has shown to social distancing, so the nhs has done a greatjob. but those hospitals are designed in a particular way and for a particular purpose. that doesn't necessarily mean they would be fit for purpose for other types of nhs activity. of course, for other types of nhs activity. of course , we for other types of nhs activity. of course, we also need to keep them as an insurance policy in the next few months because we need to be confident, as i said in those five tests, that we have a sustained reduction in hospital admissions. but we will always keep things under review going forward. but i think the key thing is that the nightingales have shown quite how agile the nhs can be with the support of the military if they need to be, but they have given us that extra capacity that we have used but
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haven't had to use to the extent we might have feared evenjust at haven't had to use to the extent we might have feared even just at the beginning of april. thank you to stuart for submitting your question. you can submit a question by going on to gov.uk/ask, and these questions from the public are a great addition to the daily briefings. we now move to questions from the media, hugh pym from the bbc. as you have said, there has clearly been a rapid and impressive expansion of lab capacity and testing centres and businesses and staff have put in a huge effort and are staff have put in a huge effort and a re fully staff have put in a huge effort and are fully deserving of praise. i wanted to ask a little more about where we go from here in your view. you touched on it, but a little more detail. how do you intend to further develop and expand the testing
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network as part of moves to combat the virus? that's a really important question. i tried to set out a bit of it, but i think there are two parts. the first is that we have grown this testing capacity to over 100,000, 122,000 tests done yesterday. that's for a purpose, because by testing you can help to treat patients better. we have a lwa ys treat patients better. we have always been testing patients. we can help get people back to work and there has been a big expansion of eligibility to get a test in order to get back to work. and also for surveys , to get back to work. and also for surveys, and very soon we should get the first results of the surveys out in the field at the moment so we know how many people have the disease right across the country. we should get those results very soon. we plan to continue to expand capacity. as i said, there is a new
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lab coming on stream next week that astrazeneca and gsk have put together in cambridge. we will keep going from there. the other really important question is making sure we use this capacity and the best way possible. for instance, to have a real focus on care homes to make sure we can tackle the epidemic within care homes as well. john. it is an extraordinary achievement to build this facility so quickly and there is an element of consolidation now, we need to move toa consolidation now, we need to move to a more sustainable footing and try and integrate the work of the new laboratories with the existing infrastructure. for example, making sure the results flow back to general practitioners. all of that is happening and that will really help us to use this new capacity to its maximum benefit. and then as the secretary of state said, there are a
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range of other opportunities to support the nhs, the care sector and also other sectors such as criminal justice by making testing available. and i think the really exciting development is this roll—out of testing at home which of course would be very helpful for any contact tracing, a really flexible, fast way of getting tests to people when we are using our contact tracing track and trace app. so we are very pleased with what we have done so far, but it really is only a start and we do need to apply what we have now to the challenges of the future. thank you very much. have you got a follow—up? thank you very much. have you got a follow-up? just one more. how do you ensure that health and social workers do get priority so they can get tested when they need to be? absolutely, this is really important. within the system that we have built, health and care workers need a test, then they can get one
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asa need a test, then they can get one as a priority either through the nhs itself and the nhs's own labs. all through the employer route, so they go to the front of the queue in terms of getting an appointment to one of the drive—through centres. and that is an important part of making sure we have the right prioritisation. we have always talked about the prioritisation starting with patients and then people in the nhs, and why did you work as, then the general public, and that prioritisation is built into the system —— and wider workers. with contact tracing, once we have contact tracing in large scale, you want to be able to test people as soon as possible so that you know if there is a positive test so that then the people they have beenin so that then the people they have been in close contact with can be advised to act accordingly and isolate, so they don't pass on the disease. so that is a very important other new part of the priority
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within testing, once we get that up and running by the middle of the month. some coats, from sky. matt hancock, 120,000 5 is some coats, from sky. matt hancock, 120,000 sis a massive increase in a short period of time, how many of those are home testing kits that we re those are home testing kits that were mild out yesterday but have not yet been returned and analysed by laboratories? earlier in the week, numberio laboratories? earlier in the week, number 10 indicated they would not count against the targets, but now it does seem as if they do. john newton, perhaps this morning we got the news we had been waiting for that you cannot get coronavirus a second time, that seems to have come out of a study from the south korea clinical disease control centre, how much weight you put on that important study? an interesting you seem to be quibbling with a colleague at public health england, stephen powis, saying yesterday that
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children don't seem to be able to transmit the disease, was she wrong? right, what a feast of questions! i will hand over to john right, what a feast of questions! i will hand over tojohn to answer the precise numerical questions. we set out on our website how we count the different types of tests for different types of tests for different reasons because exactly as you said in the question, home tests are produced in a different way to the tests at drive—through centres. junk and take us through the breakdown of the 122,347 tests yesterday. i would just add that in total, we now over the entire testing programme since the test was invented have done over! million tests, 1,023,824. so that is another benchmark we have managed to reach. john, then steve with the question about the tra nsmissibility
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john, then steve with the question about the transmissibility of the disease amongst children. thank you, secretary of state. the nhs public health england laboratories, including laboratories in other countries, all four countries of the uk undertook 39,753 tests between them of which there were 2537 in scotland, 1090 in wales and 1219 in northern ireland. it is worth mentioning we have a partnership with quickly and they undertook over 13,000, so the benefit of public and private partnerships. a new light has laboratories, 79,005 and 22 tests. 39,153 were undertaken in the drive through centres or by mobile units or in fact by research nurses who administered tests as part of the national statistics survey. the home kits delivered, there were
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27,497 delivered. and there were 12,872 tests delivered through the satellite process. and then under the surveillance testing which is a different test, the antibody testing, there were 300 —— 3072 tests undertaken, so that is the breakdown. so your question was about home kits, 27,000, then 12,000 more sent out as satellites. thanks very much, steve. on the question of transmission in children, i will say what i think the position is, john with his public health expertise will correct me if i get any of this wrong. i think if a child or young person is symptomatic, there is no reason to think they would not transmit the virus in a way that any other person who is symptomatic would be. the big question is how
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many children don't have symptoms but get the virus? and in that particular case, or in those cases, how transmissible is the virus between them? i think that is data we are still accumulating and evidence we are still learning about. and of course, it is one of the key question is when it comes to schools and how schools are opened again. sol schools and how schools are opened again. so i think that the true answer is that the evidence is still emerging overthe answer is that the evidence is still emerging over the transmissibility of virus in children that don't show symptoms. is that your understanding, john? yes, absolutely, shall i pick up the question on immunity, can you get the infection twice? you mention to study, the science on immunity is still emerging and i think the general rule is you would never make a decision based on a single study and we would very much want to see that result replicated in other studies before we decided that was
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really the case. but it is obviously promising. people have said before in these briefings it would be very surprising if there was no immunity after an infection but, at the moment, the science is still not precise about how much immunity you get and how long it lasts. but nevertheless, the result such as the one you mentioned are encouraging. thanks very much. victoria mcdonald from channel four. cani victoria mcdonald from channel four. can ijust victoria mcdonald from channel four. can i just say victoria mcdonald from channel four. can ijust say that i'm not quite sure that the question from sam was answered. there is a report in the hsj that previously, a test would be counted only once a sample had been processed, but that testing has changed and it being counted once it has been posted out, is that the case? secretary of state, i want to ask you specifically, the 0ns figures today show you are twice as likely to die from covid—19 if you live in a deprived part of the country. what is your reaction to
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that and what policy implications does that have for you? yes, i will askjohn to answer the point from the hsj, but it is not something i recognise. the point on the deprivation and the point that in more deprived parts of the country, there appears to be greater impact. this is something we are worried about. and we are looking at it. and we are looking at it in the context of all of the different ways in which this disease seems to have a different impact on different groups. so, right from the start, we have known that it has a much more serious impact on older people. it appears to have a bigger impact on men. it appears to have a bigger impact on people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. it appears that people who are obese
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are more seriously affected by the disease. and there is also this new evidence from the office for national statistics of the correlation with deprivation. so we are looking at all of these things and trying to understand the impact of the virus as much as we possibly can as and when we get new evidence. john. there has been no change to the way tests are counted. as we have developed new ways of delivering tests, we have taken advice from officials as to how they should be counted. the tests within the control of the programme, which is the great majority, they are counted when the tests are undertaken in our laboratories. but for any undertaken in our laboratories. but for a ny tests undertaken in our laboratories. but for any tests going outside the control of the programme, they are counted when they leave the programme. so that is the tests mild out to people at home and the tests that go out in satellite, so that is the way they are counted, have a lwa ys the way they are counted, have always been counted and the way we
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we re always been counted and the way we were advised to count them by officials. that is all set out on the government website. sam leicester, from the express. thank you, health secretary. concerns have been raised about how the over 70s had been treated as a blanket group, including by senior figures in your parties. can you reassure over—70s who are fit and healthy they will be treated exactly the same as the rest of the population when lockdown measures are eased? and it has been made clear today that this is not over. but now we are past the peak, people will obviously rightly be hopeful they can start making plans to see family and friends again and perhaps even have a holiday. meet up together and have a holiday together. is late summer a realistic timescale for this? well, the last question is very
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tempting to speculate on. u nfortu nately, we tempting to speculate on. unfortunately, we just don't know. it is still too early to say and i am really sorry to give that answer. but it is. the five tests we have set out, they are there partly to try to give everybody a sense of when we will be able to make those next decisions that i know people are yearning for, but we will only lift the lockdown measures when it is safe to do so. this is why test, track and trace is so important, it will help us to do that. it is not necessary to have that in place, but it helps enormously. but it is as of today too soon, hence the message remains to stay at home because that protects the nhs and it saves lives. 0n protects the nhs and it saves lives. on your protects the nhs and it saves lives. 0n yourfirst protects the nhs and it saves lives. on your first point about the over—70s, maybe steve, i could ask you to answer this. we were always clear from the start, there is a
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very specific group who we have been in contact with who we are asking to shield, which is to ensure they have as little contact as possible with other people for their own health reasons. after that, the question is a degree and a quotation of the advice. yes, so of course, we know as you know that the over—70s can be absolutely fit and healthy. —— a gradation of the advice. it is not the case everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or underlying disease. as the secretary of state said, we very specifically asked a group of individuals, some of whom are in that age bracket but not everybody, to shield and to do everything they could to stay at home because we knew that their underlying conditions put them more at risk of serious convocations from covid—19. so that is the group being
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shielded. 0f covid—19. so that is the group being shielded. of course, everybody is complying with social distancing measures and being asked to stay at home whatever age you are. so in the generality at the moment, everybody is in that same boat of complying with measures. as we look forward and as! with measures. as we look forward and as i said at the very start, the government moves to another combination of measures, including track and trace, that will help us keep the infection under control going forward, i think it is a perfectly reasonable question to say how would that work in age groups and age fans? although we do know that complications and unfortunately deaths are more common in the elderly, even without complications, i think that is for consideration and that is work we will need to do as we move forward. but your point is very well made. thanks very much. allan preston from the belfast telegraph. good afternoon. ijust
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have two quick questions for the health secretary. in northern ireland, the impact of coronavirus has not been quite as severe compared to the rest of the uk due to factors like a lower population density. do you think there is any merit in eventually easing restrictions here at a different pace to other parts of the uk? and my second question, has —— as this virus does not respect borders, do you think it would be better for stormont to work on an all—ireland basis inputting the pandemic to rest rather than following the uk read? across the uk, you are right, the level of the virus has been different in different parts of the country. we saw in the chart earlier that in london the level has been much higher than other parts of the country which have been lower. but what's interesting is the shape of
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the curve, the rise and fall in the virus that has just started, as being basically the same throughout the country. that means that moving together i think was the right approach at the start. i can see the case that could be made, and of course the decisions that are devolved, we respect the devolution settlement, but ultimately if you look at the shape of the curve, getting r down and getting the level of new cases right down, that has happened across the uk together. of course the relationship with the republic of ireland is important as well and we have good relations in terms of a political and medical level, in conversations with the republic and with decisions that they take, but we have very intensive discussions within the uk about the timing of changes within
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the country. thank you very much. steve ford from the nursing times. nursing times survey has indicated almost all nursing staff feeling stressed and anxious than usual, and a third described the state of their mental health as bad during the covid—19 crisis, reasons including ppe shortages. my question is, what will you do in the long term to protect the mental health of nurses and other staff on top of the helplines that have already been announced, as we already have a well—documented nurse shortage, and i hope you agree we can't afford to lose any more in the coming months. and secondly, what is your message for black and minority ethnic staff, who feel they may have been put at greater risk giving imogen evidence from the mortality data. —— by giving emerging evidence. the way nurses across the nhs have risen to the challenge has been admirable, the challenge has been admirable, the bravery and flexibility nurses
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have shown right across the nhs. the whole country recognises it, as i do as health secretary. i think certainly the measures we have put in place to help people with the stress, and more serious mental ill health as a result of work, those measures are important. i am very glad they are in place. i have been trying to get them in place for some time and we managed to very quickly as the crisis began. but the other thing, it's undoubtedly true when you talk to nurses on the front line, increasing the numbers of nurses, so there are more to do the work that's needed, is really important part of the plan. as you know, we committed in the election to 50,000 more nurses by the end of the parliament. we remain committed
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to that. in fact, we have seen more nurses come into the nhs over the autumn and then also as a result, a direct result, of the appeal for nurses who had left the profession to come back. so we have got more nurses back into the nhs and i want to support and cherish every single nurse who works in the nhs because the important work they do. so i'm sure that will be a big conversation as we restore the nhs and thank everybody for the work they have done during the difficulties of coronavirus. steve, do you want to add anything? i think your point again isa add anything? i think your point again is a very good one. of course, it's notjust nurses, as you pointed out, it's all staff. it's been a tremendous effort from staff across the nhs. they have been working incredibly hard. sometimes in different areas from where they
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usually work, and of course that brings its own stresses. talking to the chief executives and medical directors and chief executives of medical trusts across the country, as we begin to now stand up some of the services we have had to stand down to manage the surge in coronavirus patients, those leaders locally are thinking very hard about how we support staff because we absolutely recognise they have gone through a very challenging and at times very stressful number of weeks. that support is required both in the short term and over a longer period of time to ensure, as we move back towards normal, it won't be completely back to normal while we still have covid, but backed more towards a normal, that staff have the support they need. the comments you have made are reflected in the comments i hear from leaders across the health system. and could you a nswer steve's the health system. and could you answer steve's second question. can
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you remind me of that? greenock what is your message for black and minority ethnic staff. john might wa nt to minority ethnic staff. john might want to answer some of this as well. the message for black and minority ethnic staff is that we absolutely recognise, as the secretary of state said earlier, this virus is disproportionately affecting staff, andi disproportionately affecting staff, and i absolutely know the concern and i absolutely know the concern and worry amongst our colleagues in those groups. in fact, i have been talking to them over the last few weeks, as! talking to them over the last few weeks, as i am sure the secretary of state and others have. there are things we can do in terms of supporting staff and helping them through the concerns they have. i think there is another piece of work john will be able to talk about, which is. the secretary of state touched on it earlier, but why it is the virus seems to be disproportionately affecting members of staff and the population as a
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whole from particular ethnic groups. that work is ongoing with public health england and john might be able to say a little bit. that will also inform what we need to do and the approach going forward. as you know, the statistics are showing increased rates of people within some ethnic backgrounds. the effects are relatively small and they need to be looked at, although they are very important. we need to also look at some of the other aspects of the virus. for example, the virus is present in different rates in different parts of the country. we know different parts of the country have very different groups of people from different backgrounds. we need to look at all these figures together to try to understand what's really going on. there is cause for concern, definitely, and we are talking to nhs england about any advice that should be given based on the data, but there is also an
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important bit of statistical work to do to try to understand what the real underlying risks are. i think sometimes it can be wrong to take these statistics at face value. we also know that unfortunately some different ethnic groups have different ethnic groups have different levels of underlying health conditions. for example, if people from an asian background tend to have more diabetes. we are trying to have more diabetes. we are trying to look at what extent those factors might be at play as well. but it's an important issue and one that a number of people are looking at. public health in gwent and a number of university groups are studying this and we are feeding results back to nhs england so staff can get the right advice. —— public health england. it's important to emphasise we don't need to wait for that data and analysis to provide additional support. simon stevens, chief executive of the nhs, wrote to our
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health care organisations, and to hospitals this week and he made the specific point of ensuring local health care leaders do pay particular attention to supporting and doing whatever they feel is necessary locally to support our bame colleagues. i know even from today, talking to some of those local leaders that they are absolutely doing that and providing that support. thank you, stephen. does that answer your question? yes, thank you. thank you, everybody. that concludes this daily coronavirus briefing. studio: matt hancock there ending the briefing for today. making it clear the government has reached its target of more than 100,000 tests, coronavirus tests, by the end of april. jessica parkeris tests, by the end of april. jessica parker is at westminster for us. the health secretary heralding the unprecedented expansion he says of
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an incredible achievement in reaching 100,000 tests but there are questions about the fact that a lot of these tests are simply tests put in the post and sent to the individual homes, or to what are called satellite centres, where tests can take place, and the results actually haven't got back to a lab. it was interesting to stop professorjohn newton, the government's testing tsar, who has been leading on the programme to rapidly expand testing, said there has been no change in the way tests are counted but acknowledged the tests that are being posted out as home testing kits, for example, are being counted on the day they are sent, not on the day they are actually carried out, because of course they will be sent to a person's home, who will carry out the test and send it back, so there isa time the test and send it back, so there is a time lag there. the inference was whether the government is using those numbers conveniently in order
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to reach its target. it's worth noting the numbers, 27,497 home tests delivered and 12,872 tests delivered through satellite centres. i think that's tests sent to certain nhs settings and care homes. the government insists, and professor john newton, the reason they are doing that is those tests outside the control of the programme, as he put it, are counted on the day they are sent out, so rejecting accusations the numbers have been played around with. but matt hancock reaching that testing target and actually surpassing it, over 120,000 tests carried out in the last 24 hours at the end of april. jessica parker, political correspondent at westminster, thank you. the six o'clock news is coming up with reeta chakrabarti. o'clock news is coming up with reeta chakra barti. now it's o'clock news is coming up with reeta chakrabarti. now it's time for the weather. hello there.
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the april showers have lingered today and we are still seeing some lively downpours. this was a weather watcher picture sent in from colchester in essex, and it goes to show the air is particularly unstable at the moment, no surprise because we have an area of low pressure sitting across the uk. it is throwing further showers our way. quite a keen breeze in the north, a chilly breeze across scotland and northern ireland. some of these showers, as we have been seeing, could bring hail, some thunder and lightning as well, but perhaps are fewer to end the day in some areas compared with yesterday. but i wouldn't like to rule out a shower just about anywhere. as we go through the evening and overnight, they will ease across england and wales and northern ireland, but with low pressure close by to the east coast, particularly scotland, lots more showers here. but under starry skies, temperatures will still get to within two or three degrees of freezing, so a coolish start to the weekend. but otherwise, as low pressure begins to pull away, we should see fewer showers and more dry and sunny spells and less breeze as well. it won't be altogether dry, however. we have showers still close from that low pressure across scotland coming into perhaps parts of northern england and lincolnshire.
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further south, the approach of another area of low pressure bringing another weather front, perhaps throwing cloud into the south of england later in the day. but in between, dry and a bit more sunshine than we have seen. lighter wind and it will feel warmer in that strong may sunshine. you can see showers continuing through tomorrow night and into sunday morning but it still looks as if temperatures will stay just above freezing despite those clear skies. perhaps in the glens of scotland we might see a touch of ground frost. and we may still, across scotland, have some showers on sunday, and across the east of england, but a diminishing risk. instead we pick up more cloud across southern areas, turning the sunshine hazy and perhaps threatening rain later on in the south and west. but again, the wind will not be as strong as it has been so with some may sunshine we should see 17 or 18 in the south, 14 or 15 in the north. high pressure looks set to bring continued settled conditions, particularly across the northern half of the uk into next week. we pick up a keen and rather chilly
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wind, however, in the south. but perhaps some rain returning by tuesday. goodbye.
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the government announces it's exceeded its target of 100,000 daily tests for coronavirus. its aim, to hit that number across the uk by yesterday. the health secretary said testing was crucial to tackling the outbreak. it helps remove the worry, it helps keep people safe, and it will help us to unlock the lockdown. but thousands of those tests have been delivered to people in their own homes this week. also this evening: the risk of death from coronavirus is twice as likely if you're from a poorer urban area, say new official figures. why are children apparently so much less affected by covid—19, and might they still

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