What did Boris Johnson say at today’s coronavirus press briefing? – The Sun

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson chaired his first press briefing in a month today alongside the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty.

The PM promised to share an extensive plan to end the lockdown next week.

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What was said in today's coronavirus press conference?

Boris Johnson confirmed "for the first time we are past the peak of this disease and on the downward slope".

The PM said the UK will beat the disease by "growing resolve and ingenuity."

He promised next week the government will release a "comprehensive plan on how we can get the economy moving, how we can get children back to school and how we can travel to work and make life in the workplace safer."

He said the plan will be based on "how we can continue to suppress disease and at same time restart the economy".

Boris said the plan will be "guided by science" and he will attempt to "build maximum political consensus".

He said he will only be making tweaks to the lockdown if the R rate of transmission stays low.

"Scientists around the world have been tracking the R of corona since start," he told Britain.
"In March at its peak R was around 3 which seems to be the natural rate of the virus.

"Thanks to you we've been able to reduce R and it is now below 1.

"We've only just passed the peak of virus – and it's vital R stays below 1.

"The government will be monitoring R very closely."

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said scientists think the R rate is currently between 0.6 and 0.9 in the UK.

He confirmed the number of hospital admissions and total number of cases is coming down.

He said the UK will need to "stick with what we're doing" to make sure the R number continues to fall.

The measures are set to be reviewed by May 7, and the government insists nothing will change before then.

The PM also apologised for "not being part of the trio for so long" and thanked everyone for "doing such a good job in my absence."

He thanked the NHS, both for his care when he was in intensive care with Covid-19 and for the birth of his 6th son on Wednesday.

This come as the UK death toll has now reached a staggering 26,711.

He said: "We grieve for them and with them, but as we grieve we are strengthened in our resolve to defeat the virus."

Boris said he is "not going to delegitimatise the challenges we have faced in getting PPE" for healthcare workers, or the "frustrations we have experienced in expanding numbers of tests".

His message for Brits was "your efforts and your sacrifice is working and has been proved to work".

He said the number of hospital admissions is continuing to fall, as well as the number of those in ICUs.

The UK has also achieved its most "important task" of "avoiding the tragedy that engulfed other parts of the world, as at no stage has the NHS been overwhelmed".



What was said yesterday?

At Wednesday's press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was still "coming through the peak" of the virus and called for people to maintain social distancing measures "until we are out of the woods".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged to reach the goal by the end of April. The latest figures show it reached just over 52,000 coronavirus tests on Tuesday.

A scientist advising the government on testing, Prof John Newton, said he is confident the target will be met, but warned there will be a lag in the data.

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