The number of coronavirus deaths in the UK has increased by 674 in the past 24 hours, Boris Johnson announced in his first government briefing since his hospitalization in Covid-19.
The Prime Minister said the figure, which includes deaths in hospitals, nursing homes and the wider community, had reached 26,711, but the Ministry of Health and Welfare later confirmed it had actually reached 26,771.
Mr. Johnson said, “Every day families continue to lose loved ones before their time, we cry for and with them, but as we cry, we are strengthened in our determination to defeat this virus to bring this whole country back to health, on its feet. “
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He also said that the UK has “passed the peak” of the epidemic and added “we are on a downward slope”.
“At no time was our NHS exceeded, no patient went without a ventilator, no patient was deprived of intensive care, we have five of the seven Nightingale wards planned,” he said.
“It was through this massive collective effort to protect the NHS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the worst reasonable scenario was 500,000 dead.
“I can confirm today that for the first time we have passed the peak of this disease.
“We passed the summit and down the slope. “
Johnson also presented the latest figures on the epidemic:
- Before today’s deadline for 100,000 tests a day, 81,611 were done on Wednesday.
- 171,253 people tested positive overall, an increase of 6,032 since Wednesday.
- 15,043 patients with coronavirus are hospitalized, compared to 15,359.
- There have been 26,711 deaths across all circles, an increase of 674 since yesterday.
Johnson acknowledged the difficulties encountered by the public during the “forced detention” where he could not see his friends and family while caring about his job.
“Your effort and your sacrifice work and have proven themselves,” he said.
Johnson said he would establish a “roadmap” to ease lock restrictions next week.
“What you get next week is really a roadmap, a menu of options – the dates and times of each individual measure will largely depend on where we are in the epidemic, how what the data really says and we’re getting a lot more data every day now and over the next few days. “
The Prime Minister said he “mourns every life lost” as well as “the economic damage the country is suffering”.
But he predicted that a “bad” second spike in coronavirus would cause “lasting” damage to the UK economy if the lockdowns were lifted too quickly.
“It is absolutely vital, if we are to rebound as strongly as I think we can, that we do not have a second fight or a second bad spike,” he said.
“Because it would really do lasting economic damage.
“This is why we have to calibrate our measures so carefully and make sure not only to unlock the economy gradually, but also to find ways to continue to eradicate the disease, and perhaps find new, more ingenious ways. to suppress the disease.
“This is what we are working on now and you will see a lot more, I hope, next week. “