Speaking at Friday afternoon’s Downing Street press conference, Dr Jenny Harries showed a series of graphs depicting how the pandemic is playing out in the UK. Pointing to one chart which showed the number of people in hospitals, she said: “On the number of inpatients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, for the first time in many, many weeks this has fallen below 1,000.”
She added: “So this is real success.”
Dr Harries was speaking alongside Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Mr Shapps confirmed an additional 684 coronavirus deaths had occurred since yesterday.
But he said there are “tentative signs” the UK is making progress in flattening the curve.
He praised Britons for staying home and practising social distancing.
However, Dr Harries warned of a slight increase in travel as she urged the public to stay in to tackle coronavirus.
Government data shows that the number of cars on UK roads between Monday and Wednesday was 41 percent lower than the first week of February, compared with reductions of 62 percent shortly after the lockdown was introduced.
The figures show the rise in road traffic is not matched by an increase in the use of other modes of transport.
Compared with the first week of February, passenger numbers on buses are down 84 percent in London and 89 percent outside the capital, down 97 percent on mainline rail services and down 95 percent on the London Underground.
Mr Shapps urged Britons to not become lax when it comes to obeying lockdown rules.
He said: “By respecting these measures, the whole country is slowing the spread of the virus. By avoiding public transport, we’re freeing up space for critical workers who rely on buses and trains to travel safely.”
His comments come as it emerged that some 46,000 people tried to book a coronavirus test on the Government’s new website on Friday, but tests ran out soon after it went live.
Over 10 million key workers and their households are now eligible for COVID-19 tests as the Government races to hit its 100,000-a-day testing target by next Thursday.
Under the expansion, NHS and social care staff, police officers, teachers, social workers, undertakers, journalists and those who work in supermarkets and food production are among those now eligible.
But within two minutes of the website going live at 6am on Friday, all 5,000 tests for people to do at home had been booked.
Mr Shapps insisted more tests were available to be booked on Friday afternoon and again will be available once again on Saturday morning, and so on.
Published at Fri, 24 Apr 2020 15:53:00 +0000