BUSINESS Secretary Alok Sharma chaired today's daily press briefing on the fight against coronavirus alongside Sir Partick Vallance and Prof. Yvonne Doyle.
The daily press briefings are the government's way of keeping the UK up to date on what they are doing to tackle the pandemic and its knock-on effects for Brits.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
What time was the press conference today?
Today's press conference started at 5pm and was broadcast live by the BBC.
It is normally held in Downing Street between 4pm and 6pm and lasts 15 to 30 minutes.
The briefings have been ongoing since March 16.
Who was said in today's briefing?
Today's briefing was hosted by Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
He was joined by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Partick Vallance and PHE Medical Director and Director for Health Protection, Prof. Yvonne Doyle CB.
Sharma opened the briefing to reinforce the action plan of aiming to slow the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.
He continued: 'The pandemic is the biggest threat our country has faced in decades but we are not alone.'
The Business Secretary recognised the extreme disruption (the lockdown) is having on our lives and thanked those making an effort to help tackle the pandemic, as well as frontline workers and businesses.
He also said local authorities have received £12 billion for grants to small businesses to help them survive.
Dr Yvonne Doyle mentioned there was a 'slightly concerning trend' – an increase in motor traffic.
She also said the target of conducting 10,000 tests a day has been reached, adding she is 'confident' the UK can reach 25,000.
In regards to the antibody test, Sharma said the government are 'urgently evaluating' it and that it is an 'absolute priority'.
On lockdown, Sharma said stopping restrctions too early could bring a second wave.
Dr Doyle added that the restrictions will be reviewed after Easter and will be guided by how the epidemic is progressing.
Who hosted yesterday's briefing and what happened?
Yesterday's briefing was hosted by Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove and deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries.
Ventilators, visas for NHS workers and the rising death toll in the UK were just some of the topics mentioned.
Here is a breakdown of the items discussed:
- Thousands of new ventilators will be added to UK hospitals over the weekend
- Chancellor will waive some import taxes on medical equipment
- 25,000 to be tested for coronavirus by April
- Visas if NHS staff that expire before October 1 will be automatically renewed
- 381 more deaths reported today-biggest jump in daily deaths so far.
MPs from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport met with charities earlier in the day.
How can I watch the daily coronavirus press briefings?
You can watch the government's daily press briefings using a live stream on our YouTube channel.
You can also follow live updates on the conference and the coronavirus in the UK through our live blog.
On TV, the press conferences are broadcast live on BBC News.
Why is the government holding daily briefings?
Boris Johnson and his senior cabinet ministers had been criticised for a lack of regular updates into what is happening with the coronavirus outbreak.
Among them was Sir Keir Starmer – a candidate to become the next Labour leader – who called for daily press conferences.
The Shadow Secretary said he was “deeply concerned” that “ministers have been failing in their responsibilities to provide consistent and transparent public health advice”.
Source: Read Full Article