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Prime Minister says UK is "past the peak" of Coronavirus cases

01 May 2020

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and patients in ICU is falling.

The Prime Minister made a statement on 30 April 2020 at the Number Ten press conference where he was joined by Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor.

As of 30 April, 901,905 tests for Coronavirus have now been carried out in the UK, including 81,611 tests on 29 April. 171,253 people have tested positive - an increase of 6032 cases since the previous day. 15,043 people are currently in hospital with Coronavirus, compared to 15,359 on the previous day.

Of those tested positive for Coronavirus, across all settings, 26,711 have now died - an increase of 674 fatalities from the previous day. This figure includes deaths not just in hospitals.

The Prime Minister said: "Today the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions is falling. The number of patients in ICU is falling. We have so far succeeded in the first and most important task we set ourselves as a nation.

"Because at no stage has our NHS been overwhelmed. No patient went without a ventilator. No patient was deprived of intensive care. We have five of the seven projected Nightingale wards

"And it is thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the NHS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable worst case scenario was 500,000 deaths.

"And so I can confirm today, for the first time, that we are past the peak of this disease.

"We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope."

According to the Prime Minister, the UK is leading international efforts to find a vaccine. Oxford university has announced a partnership with Astrazeneca to develop what they believe could soon be a means of inoculating against the disease. However, he added that it wasn't possible to say when that may be.

He continued: "We will have to beat this disease by our growing resolve and ingenuity, so I will be setting out a comprehensive plan next week to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get our children back to school, back into childcare, and how we can travel to work - and how we can make life in the workplace safer.

"And, in short, how we can continue to suppress the disease and at the same time re-start the economy.

"It is vital that we do not now lose control and run slap into a second and even bigger mountain, and so to avoid that disaster our fifth and final test is that nothing as I say we do should lift the R or the reproduction rate of that disease back above one.

Let me just emphasise that keeping the R down is going to be absolutely vital to our recovery, keeping the reproduction rate of the disease down, and we can only do it by our collective discipline and working together."