Matt Hancock: Easter weekend will be test of nation’s resolve

Matt Hancock has said the Easter weekend will be a test of the nation’s resolve at the daily press briefing.

Joined by chief nursing officer Ruth May and deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam, Hancock underlined that the NHS needs the UK public to stay at home.

The Health Secretary also said the PM’s condition is improving and he wants to thank the clinical team at St Thomas’ Hospital where he is being looked after.

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Hancock revealed that 19,000 tests were carried out yesterday

Health stock image

He said 980 more deaths in the UK have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

That’s the most deaths in a single day since the coronavirus outbreak begun.

Hancock added there is high demand for PPE and that the type needed has changed dramatically because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said most NHS hospitals haven’t needed a weekly delivery of PPE meaning that the government have been required to revamp logistics.

But he asked that medical staff only use PPE when necessary and to use no more or less than is necessary.

Hancock said over the next week every hospital will receive a delivery of PPE every day and over the next three weeks the government is launching an online portal where hospitals can request PPE.

The Health Secretary said there is capacity for ‘all key social care staff and NHS staff’ to be tested.

He urged people to aid the national effort by staying at home and said the more the rules are followed, the faster we can return to normal life.

On the 100,000 tests a day target Hancock said that since he announced this the government have had a huge number of offers to turn facilities into test-manufacturing facilities.

He added mega-labs will be manned by volunteers super-specialised in creating tests.

Hancock said the government are working 24/7 to make the 100,000 a day target but that ‘we are on track’.

Chief nursing officer Ruth May revealed that Sunderland and Exeter will soon be the site of new hospitals.

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said we are at a high level of new cases and the numbers are varying day by day.

He reinforced that this is not over.

Professor Van Tam said the number of people occupying hospital beds is slowing and that the public’s hard work is paying off.

But he said it’s premature to say we’re at a peak.

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