Chancellor Rishi Sunak started the press conference by addressing ongoing concerns about protective equipment for health workers, saying the UK is not the only country that’s been finding it difficult – it has been an “international challenge”.
This was an issue picked up in the questions and Prof Yvonne Doyle from Public Health England also acknowledged it was a difficult issue.
He also updated us on some of the economic policies being implemented, saying 140,000 business had applied for the government’s wage scheme on its launch day today – with a million employees between them.
He added that thousands of innovative firms had received loans and grants to help them keep creating economic growth. When asked about the likelihood of recession, he said these schemes were designed to help an economic recovery.
Deputy chief scientific officer Angela MacLean had some good news for us: the number of new cases has stopped rising, as has the number of hospital admissions.
But there was renewed concern that the death rate was being underestimated, as the numbers only include deaths in hospitals. Prof Doyle said she could not say how many had died outside hospital, but estimated hospital settings probably accounted for nine in every 10 deaths.
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