Coronavirus: UK cases 'could be moving in the right direction'
April. 07, 2020
The number of coronavirus cases in the UK "could be moving in the right direction", the government's chief scientific adviser has said.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance said it was "possible that we're beginning to see... the curve flattening".
He added, however, it would be another "week or so" before he could be sure.
The foreign secretary, meanwhile, said the PM, who is in intensive care, is in "good spirits" and "stable".
It comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK rose to 6,159 - a record increase of 786 in a day, the Department of Health and Social Care said , compared with 439 on Monday.
So far, 55,242 people have tested positive in the UK - an increase of 3,634 on Monday's figures.
Speaking about the number of new cases, Sir Patrick said: "It is possible that we're beginning to see the beginning of change in terms of the curve flattening a little bit.
"We won't know that for sure until a week or so. But what we're not seeing is an acceleration."
Today's figures are a record high and bring the currently reported death toll above 6,000 for the first time. The rise of 786 is higher than Saturday's previous peak of 708 deaths reported in a single day.
We also know that this figure misses deaths that occurred but have not yet been reported, so the true death toll at this point is likely higher .
If there is any silver lining to these grim figures, it is that they represent the fourth day in a row of below-trend growth.
For weeks up until Friday's figures, the number of deaths had been doubling every three and a half days. Had that trend continued, we would have seen close to 1,400 deaths today.
So 786 is better than that, although it's still too soon to know what's causing it. It could be a big bottleneck in reporting (we've seen that after previous weekends) or genuine evidence that growth is truly slowing down.
More hopefully, for almost a week, daily new cases have been holding steady at about 4,000 a day, suggesting that, while we are still seeing new cases, the growth in this figure could be stalling.
Also at the daily briefing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued a short statement on Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Mr Johnson was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital in central London with "persistent symptoms" of Covid-19 on Sunday and was moved to intensive care on Monday evening after his symptoms worsened.
Mr Raab said the PM was receiving "standard oxygen treatment" and had not been on a ventilator.
He added: "I'm confident he will pull through because if there is one thing that I know about this prime minister is he is a fighter and he will be back leading us through this crisis in short order."
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