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HomeUK NewsWatch the UK Government live 29th April 2020

Watch the UK Government live 29th April 2020

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is leading today’s daily coronavirus press briefing

The Foreign Secretary is joined by England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam and Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of Public Health England.

Raab starts by announcing that  the government have promised to reveal not only the number of deaths in hospitals each day, but the number of deaths in care homes and in the community as well.

According to Public Health England, a total of 26,097 patients had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Tuesday.

The Department of Health has said 765 new COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says 52,429 tests took place yesterday; moving in the right direction to hit the target of 100,000 tests by Thursday.

He says there is evidence the peak of the virus is “flattening” due to the lockdown and measures to increase capacity.

He adds there has been “overwhelming support” for the measures, but the UK is still at a “delicate and dangerous moment”.

The Lockdown

Dominic Raab says the lockdown will not be eased until ministers know a “second peak” can be avoided.

He says this is a “real risk”, which could result in “many more deaths” and further “economic pain” with a second lockdown.

He says the government are working on plans for a “second phase” but urges patience.

He says ministers will wait for scientific advisers to report back in early May before making a decision.

A worrying amount of cars are on the road

Yvonne Doyle, from Public Health England, is now beginning to run through the latest statistics.

She says there has been a “slightly worrying” increase in road traffic, with the largest uptick since 23 March. Everyone needs to be vigilant.

New cases have remained broadly stable, while the number of people in hospital has fallen by 16%, which is good news.

While the number of people going to hospital is falling in all regions, she stresses that the UK is passing through the peak but is not past it yet.

Hospices struggling to get access to PPE

ITV’s Daniel Hewitt says hospices are being denied access to vital PPE because they are not part of the NHS supply chain.

He says he has spoken to hospices which are having to buy kit “on the market at inflated prices”, saying they are having to care for three times as many people as normal.

Mr Raab says his heart goes out to those working in hospices and the government will do everything it can to get equipment to then, both by ramping up domestic production and buying in from abroad.

But while hospices are hugely important, he suggests that the focus has so far been on supplying hospitals and care homes first.

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