Appearing for the first time on Thursday since the virus itself cured and ending a period of self-isolation, Matt Hancock announced a new strategy to accelerate the diagnostic industry in the UK.
Coronavirus: Development of a rapid COVID-19 test is underway in Canada, worldwide
“I am now setting the goal of 100,000 tests a day by the end of this month. This is the goal and I am determined to achieve it, “he told reporters. The number currently in progress is approximately 10,000 per day.
Great Britain initially adopted a moderate approach to the epidemic, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson changed course and imposed strict social distancing measures after modeling showed that a quarter of a million people in the country could pass away.
More than half of Britons believe their government has been too slow to order a foreclosure, according to an Ipsos MORI poll.
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Johnson himself has tested positive for the virus and is in solitary confinement on Downing Street.
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The number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK rose to 2,921 on April 1. The country has notified 33,718 confirmed cases.
The government’s current worst-case scenario calls for 50,000 deaths if self-isolation is not fully respected, but the country is not on track for a toll of this magnitude, a source close to the sources said. emergency government discussions.
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Faced with an avalanche of questions on the question of tests, Hancock sought to explain why Great Britain was so far behind Germany, which tests around 500,000 people a week.
“Unlike some countries, we did not enter this crisis with a huge diagnostic industry. We have the best science labs in the world, but we didn’t have the scale, “he said.
“My German counterpart, for example, could use 100 test laboratories, ready and waiting when the crisis hit, thanks in large part to Roche, one of the world’s largest diagnostic companies. We had to build from a lower base. “
UK takes extraordinary measures to protect economy
The tests are considered essential to fight the virus and bring the economy back to health by allowing immunized people to return to work.
“This is the way to go: this is how we will unlock the coronavirus puzzle, this is how we will defeat it in the end,” said Johnson in a video message filmed in the apartment where he s ‘self-isolates.
Hancock said the government is also considering “certificates of immunity” for people who have developed resistance, as part of planning how to end the national foreclosure, but said more scientific research is underway. required.
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Showing how bad the coronavirus could be for the economy, British Airways said on Thursday that it was in talks on the suspension of 32,000 employees, while an investigation showed that more than a quarter of British companies had downsized.
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