Live Updates: Downing Street Briefing with Secretary of Health Matt Hancock as Prime Minister Boris Johnson Returns to Work

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Boris Johnson has returned to Downing Street, having returned to take charge of the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Prime Minister first said that he had tested positive for Covid-19 on March 27 and was admitted to hospital on April 5 after his condition deteriorated.

On Sunday April 26, figures from NHS England confirmed that a total of 924 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital trusts in the North East.

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In the region, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 6,931.

Scroll down and refresh for the latest updates as you go.

Last update: Monday April 27, 2020, 5:32 pm

  • 157,149 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in the UK and 21,092 people have died in hospital after a positive test.
  • Boris Johnson is back at Downing Street after a battle with the coronavirus.
  • PM made his first speech at number 10 since his return to work.
  • On Monday April 27, figures from the NHS England confirmed that another 329 people who tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) died, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in English hospitals to 18,749.
  • In the Northeast region, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 6,931.

5.30 p.m .: Hancock announces the restoration of NHS services

Hancock said some NHS services that had been cut due to the coronavirus epidemic will be restored from Tuesday.

He said: “As the number of hospitalizations for coronavirus begins to decrease, I can announce that starting tomorrow, we will begin the restoration of other NHS services – starting with the most urgent, such as medical care. cancer and mental health support.

“The exact pace of restoration will be determined by local circumstances on the ground, according to local needs and the number of cases of coronavirus that this hospital has to treat. “

5:25 p.m .: Hancock says government is close to reaching 100,000 a day for the test goal

The health secretary said following a question from the BBC: “We are on the right track to reach the 100,000 target, we are basically where we expected and we saw 37,000 tests yesterday over the weekend and we are improving the way we can test.

“It’s about making the tests as easy as possible to obtain. “

5:20 pm: Lynn de Skipton’s first public question – “I miss my grandchildren so much, please, can you let me know once the criteria are met, can I kiss the members family is something that will be allowed?

Chief physician Chris Whitty replied, “Very clearly for most people, the ability to interact with family in a way that they were not able to do during this time is absolutely essential.

“In terms of a direct answer to this lady’s question, it depends on whether I am honest about the situation in which she finds herself.

“So if it is a person who has a significant medical problem in such a way that he should be protected, then the answer is that he might be careful not to end up in a situation where he put in danger. ”

5:15 p.m .: Families on the front line who die from coronavirus will receive payment of £ 60,000

Matt Hancock announced a new government life insurance plan for the NHS and the caregivers who have lost their lives.

The Secretary of Health confirmed that the families would receive payment of £ 60,000, but stressed that this could not be compared to the loss of a human life.

5:05 p.m .: latest coronavirus statistics indicate that 4,310 additional cases and 360 additional deaths have been confirmed

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that an additional 4,310 people had tested positive for coronavirus in hospitals in the UK, bringing the total to 157,149.

Another 360 people who tested positive in hospitals died, for a total of 21,092. Hancock confirmed that 82 NHS workers and 16 social workers had died while fighting the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus continues to decline.

5.30 p.m .: Today’s briefing

The new format will include a question from a member of the public. This will be a regular feature of the information sessions.

15,000 questions were submitted via gov.uk.

4:28 p.m .: Tees Valley Mayor Supports Government’s Bounce Loan Program

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said, “The government’s initial coronavirus business loan program was one of the most generous support programs in the world and has been of great benefit to many of our incredible companies.

“Today’s announcement of a new bounce loan to further support businesses is extremely welcome. The Chancellor has made it clear that the application process for the new program will be quick and simple and will not require paperwork or a viability test. The money will be paid within 24 hours of the approval of an application.

“This shows once again that the government is listening and doing everything it can to ensure the protection of businesses. I know there are so many small businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool who will be delighted.

“I will continue to do my best to support businesses in the Tees Valley. My business support line is available 24/7 by calling 01642 662777, and I make sure that local businesses and artisans in the area that are still open or in business are highlighted on my new website – buylocal.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk. ”

4.30 p.m .: Hartlepool nurse who beat the coronavirus calls on iPad to connect families in hospitals and nursing homes

A front-line nurse from Hartlepool, who has defeated the coronavirus, is raising money to connect families separated by the virus to iPads and allow loved ones to say goodbye.

Carlita Pounder burst into tears when she heard the news that she had tested positive with Covid-19.

She suffered from body aches, deaf earache and lost her sense of smell and taste, but initially did not show the main symptoms to watch for – high temperature and continuous cough – before taking the test.

But after battling the virus alone, the Hartlepool nurse is back on the front lines of the NHS to provide care to those in need. Read more…

4:20 p.m .: Downing Street Briefing at 5:00 p.m.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will chair the briefing today despite the return to work of Prime Minister Boris Johnson today.

4:10 pm: the Chancellor announces a “rebound” loan plan

Small businesses will be able to get a loan of up to £ 50,000, with the government guaranteeing 100% of the risk in the latest emergency program to help businesses survive the coronavirus crisis.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the “bounce loans” would have interest paid by the government for the first 12 months.

Sunak acknowledged that some small businesses are struggling to access credit and, by guaranteeing the full value of the loan, he hopes that lenders will allow businesses to borrow the funds they need.

4:15 p.m .: Greggs plans to open stores during lockout

Greggs became the last street retailer to offer to reopen its stores despite the coronavirus lockout.

Greggs said he plans to reopen a small number of take-out and delivery stores next week after all of its sites are closed due to the pandemic.

The head of the bakery chain told staff that he plans to open 20 stores in the Newcastle area starting Monday, May 4 as part of a “controlled trial”. Read more…

4:00 p.m .: The government is not ready to take out all the loans

Sunak said the government is not ready to take out 100% of the loans because it has to balance the risk for the taxpayer with the needs of small businesses.

He said: “I have heard calls to the government to subscribe to all of our loan programs with 100% guarantees. I am not convinced of the need to do it universally.

“We must not ask the taxpayers of today and tomorrow to bear the entire risk of lending almost unlimited sums to companies which may, in some cases, have very little chance of repaying these loans and not necessarily because of the impact of the coronavirus. .

“So I don’t think it’s appropriate to provide 100% guarantees on all of our plans.

“Instead, these new bounce loans carefully target this extraordinary level of public support to those who need it most.

“The £ 50,000 cap balances the risk for the taxpayer and the need to support our smaller businesses. “

3:50 p.m .: Chancellor warns that not all jobs will be saved

Rishi Sunak warned that all jobs and businesses could not be saved

He said, “Although our interventions have saved millions of jobs and businesses, we cannot save every job and every business.

“I understand and I share people’s anxiety. But for the moment, the most important thing we can do to protect our economy is to protect the health of our people.

“As my honorable friend the Prime Minister said this morning, we are making progress, we are starting to turn the tide.

“But if we lose control of the virus again, we may see a second peak, which we all want to avoid. “

3:45 pm: “More difficult times ahead” – Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that there will be more difficult times ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing MPs with an update on the economy, Sunak said, “We must have no doubts about the severity of the economic situation.

“The Office for Budget Responsibility has released a scenario showing that the coronavirus will have very significant impacts both in the country and in the global economy. More than 1.5 million new applications have been filed with Universal Credit, more than four million jobs have been lost, and survey results suggest that a quarter of businesses have closed.

“These are tough times already and there will be more to come. “

3:40 p.m .: Leave program expected to save four million jobs, says Chancellor

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said more than 500,000 businesses have applied to join the government’s job retention program, which could help save about four million jobs.

“We also provide significant support for people’s jobs and incomes,” he said.

“Our most important and ambitious policy is the coronavirus retention program to keep people employed.

“The program was launched as planned last week and I am pleased to announce that the first grants have just been released.

“About half a million employers have already asked for help paying the wages of more than four million workers on leave.

“Jobs that could have been lost otherwise. “

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