UK coronavirus death toll reaches 27,510
UK has shot past its 100,000 daily coronavirus tests target set for the end of April with 122,347 testing on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Friday.
Addressing the daily Downing Street briefing, the senior minister hailed the “audacious” testing goal being met by a coordinated team effort as he revealed a further 739 deaths from Covid-19, taking the country’s toll from the pandemic to 27,510.
“At the beginning of last month, I set a goal that anyone who needs a test should get a test. That as a nation we should achieve 100,000 per day by the end of the month,” Hancock said.
“I knew it was an audacious goal, but we needed an audacious goal because testing is so important. I can announce we have met our goal. This unprecedented expansion in British testing capability is an incredible achievement,” he said.
The criteria set by the government for people accessing coronavirus tests cover over 25 million National Health Service (NHS) staff on the frontlines of the pandemic, key workers and others who need to leave the house to go to their job.
Hancock said that testing will form the basis “for getting Britain back on her feet” and the easing of the lockdown in place to keep a lid on the rate of infection, referred to as R, with work underway to recruit the 18,00 contact tracers to keep track of the deadly virus.
“People will be able to know if they had been in contact with someone with the disease. This will drive the infection rate down. It will get R down and hold R down,” he said.
Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England, joined the Cabinet minister as the UK’s national coronavirus testing coordinator and declared that the country had succeeded in putting in place world-leading testing facilities.
“We now have a flexible and substantial testing capability in the UK to tell us how the virus is spreading across the country,” he said.
It was claimed that the latest data from hospitals and across the wider community reflects “real progress” as the number of infections is falling.
The officials revealed that hospital admissions, particularly in London which was way ahead in terms of the infection than other parts of Britain, is continuing a downward trend and the number of people in critical care is also falling across the board.