topupufa700: Coronavirus: Don't expect changes to UK lockdown this week - Dominic Raab

Coronavirus: Don't expect changes to UK lockdown this week - Dominic Raab

13 Apr 2020 at 10:58pm
The government does not expect to make changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week, Dominic Raab has said.

The foreign secretary said the UK's plan "is working" but that "we are still not past the peak of this virus".

"Keep this up, we have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up," he said.

It came as the government said it might change its advice to the public on wearing face masks outdoors.

Will face masks become the new norm?
The UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told the daily Downing Street news conference the guidance was subject to an ongoing review.

He added that the government had already seen "more persuasive" data suggesting masks can stop a person passing the virus to someone else, rather than preventing them from catching it.

The World Health Organization said it remains the case that medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers, not the general public.

Meanwhile, Sir Patrick warned the number of deaths recorded in the UK is likely to rise in the coming days before they could plateau.

He said: "I think this week we are going to see a further increase, thereafter we should see a plateau as the effects of social-distancing come through. That plateau may last for some time and begin to decrease."
Prof Chris Whitty, the UK government's chief medical adviser, told the briefing that 92 care homes had detected an outbreak of coronavirus in the last day alone.

"If an outbreak is suspected public health authorities will go in to do testing to check if an outbreak has taken place," he said.

The Department of Health later confirmed to the BBC that coronavirus outbreaks have been detected at 2,099 facilities in England so far.

Prof Whitty added that he would like to have "much more extensive testing" in care homes due to the "large numbers of vulnerable people" there.

"One of the things we want to do is to extend the amount of testing of people in care homes as the ability to test ramps up over the next few weeks," he said.

Liz Kendall, Labour's shadow minister for social care, called on the government to publish daily figures of deaths in care homes "so we know the true scale of the problem and how fast it is spreading".

It came as 13 residents of one 72-bed care home in County Durham were confirmed to have died after displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

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