COVID-19 UPDATE – Tuesday 7 April
As the prime minister is still in hospital being treated for coronavirus, Dominic Raab, first secretary of state and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs led today’s press conference. Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser presented the latest data and answered journalists’ questions.
The PM: “receiving the very best care from the excellent medical team"
Dominic Raab acknowledged the good wishes directed at the PM: he is stable and remains in good spirits at St Thomas’ Hospital.
The UK is “moving in the right direction”
Patrick Vallance reported that social distancing has led to a “substantial” reduction in the opportunities to transmit the disease and a “substantial” reduction in new cases should follow.
When asked about ICU capacity, Patrick Vallance could not guarantee there will be enough, but the “tracking” shows that the NHS has planned well and created extra capacity.
Dominic Raab emphasised that we should not "take our foot off the pedal and risk losing the gains that have been made".
Government will take “collective responsibility”
There will be no substantive change as to how the government makes decisions about running the country – in spite of the PM’s absence.
Dominic Raab asserted that the PM has provided “clear direction” and the cabinet remains “focused with total unity and resolve”.