COVID-19 UPDATE – Thursday 9 April
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab held today’s press conference at Downing Street. The chief medical officer, Chris Whitty and the chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance were also present.
Prime Minister is “making positive steps”
Dominic Raab began by reporting on the prime minister's condition. He remains in ICU but continues to make positive steps and is “in good spirits".
Lockdown: still too early to lift measures
At this stage, data shows that lockdown measures are having an impact, but Dominic Raab said, “it is too early to say that conclusively”. The measures will have to stay in place until we can be sure that we have got beyond the peak. He added, "we mustn't give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people”.
Patrick Vallance said lockdown measures are slowing transmission of coronavirus and keeping hospital admissions down. Transmission has "not gone sky high and if anything there might be some flattening".
He added that the NHS is coping, “it has the right number of beds".
Recognition for frontline workers
When asked about how the sacrifices of NHS and other frontline workers will be recognised, Dominic Raab answered: "There will be a moment where we look at how we formally recognise all those in the front line." He did not commit to how frontline workers should be rewarded.