BRITAIN’S lockdown has shown “green shoots” of working but the public must NOT slack off as the number of dead will continue to rise, it was warned today.
As the UK death toll rose to 1,789 today, Michael Gove and NHS England’s Stephen Powis told the country they must not “slack off” and relax anytime soon.
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Mr Gove again stressed that the best thing Brits could do to help the fight is to stay at home – one week after Boris Johnson announced the nationwide lockdown.
He told the nation this evening: “Now is not the time to imagine there can be any slackening.
“We must make sure we maintain this national effort to keep people safe…
“People’s efforts, people’s sacrifices are worth it, they are making a difference, but we must not let up.”
Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England added: “We need every one of you to help by reducing the transmission of the virus.
“We will reduce the number of deaths and pressure on our health system.”
He said the “great British public are paying attention” to the lockdown rules so far, and the number of people using public transport has been drastically slashed in the last fortnight.
Although the number of new infections is starting to slow, it is vital that Britain does not take its foot off the pedal yet, the NHS director added.
Mr Powis added: “We are not out of the woods, we are very much in the woods still…
“So green shoots, but only green shoots and we must not be complacent and take our foot off the peddle.
“I think the next week or two are going to be critical, but this is the start of the battle.
The next week or two are going to be critical, but this is the start of the battle
NHS England Medical Director, Stephen Powis
“We can stop this virus but we are at the start and we can’t let go of the measures that we are doing.
“It is important that we all stick with it, everyone.”
The first thing to slow down will be the number of total infections across the country, followed by the number of hospital admissions, and then finally the death numbers, he explained.
Tonight Mr Gove revealed tonight that the UK was making thousands of new ventilators – which would be shipped off into the NHS by next week.
“The first of thousands of new ventilators will roll off the production and sent to the NHS next week,” he told the nation this evening.
And rapid clinical trials are taking place using anti-malarial drugs to try and see whether it will have an effect on those who are ill with Covid-19.
The Cabinet Office minister said the country had to go “further, faster” to increase the ability to carry out coronavirus tests to deal with the crisis.
But it’s not yet clear how the country is going to ramp up testing – or whether there’s the capacity to test everyone.
Around a third of UK COVID-19 hospital admissions are in London, it was also revealed, showing just how much pressure there is on the capital at the moment.
And 10,000 new CPAP breathing aids are currently developed by Mercedes, too.
Earlier today a heartbroken dad paid tribute to his “very healthy” 19-year-old son after he died from coronavirus at a London hospital.
Luca Di Nicola, originally from Italy but living in North London, is the UK’s youngest Covid-19 victim with no underlying health conditions.
The teenager had visited his GP with coronavirus symptoms last week but was reportedly given paracetamol and told he had “nothing to worry about”.
But his condition worsened and he was rushed to North Middlesex Hospital after his lips “turned purple” and he collapsed.
The teen passed away the next day on March 24.
His dad Mirko Di Nicolahas told La Repubblica newspaper he has since received a letter from North Middlesex Hospital confirming his son had tested positive for the killer virus.
Paying tribute to the chef, who worked in mum Clarissa’s Italian restaurant, Mirko said: “Luca has been tested positive for coronavirus.
“Rest in piece my little angel, keep on flying. You are in our souls.”
Today’s figures only include those who have died in hospital after testing positive for the disease, so the true death toll is actually higher.
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