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“Now outside this hospital, there is a vivid illustration of the reality of what we are facing right now.
“The refrigerated trucks were prepared to be used as makeshift mortuary at this point.
“It really shows the seriousness and the breadth of what we are dealing with. “
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At press conference 10 on Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock stressed that the NHS has the capacity to cope with the increasing number of cases.
But with the forecast of good weather for many parts of the country for the rest of the holiday weekend, there were fears that people would flock to parks and beaches, which could undermine the government’s social distancing strategy.
Hancock agreed that Easter would be a “test of nation determination,” but said the clear message from NHS staff struggling to save the desperately sick was “they need you to stay home.” .
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson continued to recover after his discharge from the intensive care unit at St Thomas Hospital where he was receiving treatment for the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister was reportedly able to take “short walks” between rest periods, although Downing Street refused to know how long he should stay in hospital.
With the government scheduled to make the first three-week review of the lockdowns next week, ministers are asked to explain how the restrictions will ultimately be lifted.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who replaces Johnson, said the government’s Emergency Science Advisory Group (SAGE) would study the evidence but could not say more before the end of the week.
Downing Street declined to comment on reports from the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail that, although ministers hoped that restrictions such as the closure of schools and stores could be lifted in early June, further social distancing measures may have to be taken. stay, potentially indefinitely or until a vaccine is found.
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However, at press conference No. 10, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, warned that it was “premature” to think that the epidemic had reached its peak.
While he said there were signs that the “curve was curving” in terms of hospital admissions, he said it was still too early to start lifting the lock.
“We are still in a dangerous phase,” he said. “It is premature to say that we are at a peak and the push we are making with social distancing must simply continue. “
Meanwhile, Mr. Hancock angered some NHS staff after insisting that there was enough personal protective equipment to go around provided it was considered ” precious resource that it is. “