The region has become “an area of special concern” according to Michael Gove. His hospital admissions have increased by almost 50% as the pandemic spreads across the UK.
“I would say that, unsurprisingly, London, as a large urban center, has an infection rate that is a week or two ahead of the rest of the country.
“If you look at the normal winter and look at the spread of the flu in a normal winter, it is not unusual to see the flu rates in winter appear in one region of the country before increasing in other regions of the country. country. “
Friday’s briefing followed reports that hospitals in the West Midlands may reach full capacity next weekend.
Area mayor Andy Street has said it will become the UK’s next hotspot.
Gove said work is now “speeding up” to “transform the Birmingham National Exhibition Center into a 2,000-bed Nightingale hospital”, as requested by Mayor Street.
He said, “The wait, given the modeling of the spread of this disease, means that we will need the capacity of NEC Nightingale Hospital roughly when it needs to open. “
In the same briefing, Gove said he would not be drawn to the government’s “exit strategy” for the crisis.
He said: “There is no set point, no specific date in the calendar by which we can say things will change, we are keeping them under review.”
Boris Johnson is expected to review the foreclosure measures currently in effect on April 13.
The death toll in Britain rose to 708 on Saturday, the deadliest day to date, with the total death toll now at 4,353.