Professor Stephen Powis said here are ‘green shoots’ signs that the rate at which people are becoming infected with Covid-19 is slowing, but warned Brits aren’t ‘out of the woods’ just yet and must stay home.
Professor Stephen Powis said the next few weeks are critical in terms of seeing how the UK epidemic would pan out but there were signs of a plateau in the infection rate.
It comes as critics said not enough was being done to test NHS frontline staff quickly enough.
At least 10,767 people are currently in hospital in England.
At least 3,915 of those are in London and 1,918 are in the Midlands, where hospital admissions are accelerating.
NHS England’s medical director has said the next few weeks will be critical in Britain’s recovery
There have been signs of a plateau in the infection rate
Speaking at the daily Westminster press briefing, Prof Powis told reporters: “We have had a rise in the number of new UK cases but recently there is a little bit of plateau.
“It’s really important not to read too much into this. It’s early days, we’re not out of the woods, we’re very much in the woods.
“The number of infections is not rising as rapidly as it once was.
“So green shoots, but only green shoots and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal.”
Michael Gove said the sharp rise in UK deaths from coronavirus was deeply shocking, but he could not say exactly when the peak of the epidemic would come
However, despite the good news the rate of hospital admissions, Professor Powis said the rate of hospital admissions was still increasing, as was expected at this stage of the epidemic.
Though he said if the number of infections started to drop, then in the next few weeks the “hope” was that the number of admissions would also begin to fall.
A total of 1,789 patients have now died overall in UK hospitals as of 5pm on Monday, the Department of Health said.
This is up by 381 from 1,408 the day before.
Andrew Neil blasts journalists at coronavirus press conference ‘A g… [Latest]
Premier League, Sky and BT Sport hold talks over new-look coverage [Update]
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi refuse children in supermarkets [Latest]
At least 10,767 people are currently in hospital in England with the virus
The rate of hospital admissions have still been increasing, as was expected at this stage of the epidemic
The jump is by far the biggest day-on-day rise in the number of deaths since the outbreak began in the UK.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the sharp rise in UK deaths from coronavirus was “deeply shocking”, but he could not say exactly when the peak of the epidemic would come.
“There’s not a fixed date like Easter when you know that the peak will come, it depends on the actions of all of us,” he told reporters.
“now is absolutely not the time for people to imagine there can be any relaxation or slackening’ of lockdown measures.”
The news comes as the government prepares to release a new coronavirus app which alerts people if they are too close to someone who has tested positive for the disease.
The app will operate on an opt-in basis and will be released either just before or just after the lockdown is lifted, people with close knowledge of the app told Sky news.
The app will detect other phones nearby using short-range Bluetooth signals, then store a record of those contacts on the device, the sources say.
NHS bosses hope the app will attract more than 50% of the population.
A total of 1,789 patients have now died overall in UK hospitals as of 5pm on Monday
However, downloading the app is not compulsory.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they will be able to upload those contacts, who can then be alerted.
People are able to remain anonymous with contacts being alerted after a suitable delay to avoid accidentally identifying an individual via the app.
This method also means data is not sent regularly to a central authority, meaning this could ease concerns around privacy.
Published at Wed, 01 Apr 2020 02:14:00 +0000