Lowest daily rise in coronavirus deaths since 30 March

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave the government's daily briefing amid speculation over how the UK will exit lockdown.

These were the key points from today’s news conference:

  • From tomorrow, the Isle of Wight will test the government’s new track and trace strategy, with a smartphone app and human contact tracing. Islanders are urged to download the app. The government’s scientifice advisers were keen to reassure users that it had been designed with their privacy in mind.  The government plans to have the track and trace programme, including 18,000 team members, in place by mid-May.
  • Today’s reported COVID-19 deaths is 288 – the lowest in England since 30 March. This brings the overall total to 28,734.
  • London Nightingale hospital to go into hibernation – it won’t be needed to accept new admissions.
  • The testing regime can now handle 108,000 tests per day, but these are not all being taken up.
  • Scientists acknowledged the need to understand why people from ethnic minorities are more likely to get coronavirus and why they are more likely to die if they become ill – a large scale study is being carried out.
  • PM to announce lockdown exit plan on Sunday, but new cases will need to decrease further before the government’s five measures will be met.