Coronavirus: Don’t give the virus a second chance - please stay at home
- Credit: PA
Please stay at home for everyone’s sake. That was the emphatic message from foreign secretary Dominic Raab as he spoke at the daily Downing Street press conference on Thursday (April 9) ahead of the long Easter bank holiday weekend when the country is expected to be bathed in glorious sunshine.
On the possibility of easing the lockdown Mr Raab said: “We are not done yet. We must keep going.”
The foreign secretary said data was still being gathered on the impact of social-distancing but insisted it was still “too early” to lift the lockdown restrictions in place across the UK.
Calling on the public not to give coronavirus a “second chance”, Mr Raab said: “It’s been almost three weeks and we’re starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we’ve all made.
“But the deaths are still rising and we haven’t yet reached the peak of the virus. So it’s still too early to lift the measures that we put in place.
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“We must stick to the plan and we must continue to be guided by the science.”
The daily press briefing heard 243,421 people in the country had so far been tested for the virus, of which 65,077 tested positive and with 16,784 being admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms.
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Mr Raab said of those who have contracted the virus, “7,978 have sadly died and our thoughts and our prayers are with their family and friends”.
He said the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) would meet next week to discuss the latest evidence on social distancing meaning they would keep the measures put in place under review.
Mr Raab said: “We don’t expect to be able to say more on this until the end of next week.
“The measures will have to stay in place until we’ve got the evidence that clearly shows we’ve moved beyond the peak.”
Mr Raab also provided an update on the health of prime minister Boris Johnson, who is battling coronavirus in hospital.
He told the press conference: “He’s still in intensive care but he continues to make positive steps forward and he’s in good spirits.”