The United Kingdom’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was tested positive for coronavirus and had been self-isolating, returned to the frontline and addressed the daily briefing on April 2. Under a new step-by-step plan, Hancock set out the government’s strategy boost testing for the deadly virus. While speaking at Downing Street, Hancock said that the government’s new goal is to have 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day by the end of this month.
The minister said, “The rate of infection is currently believed to be doubling every three-four days”. He further revealed a massive leap in the country’s death toll as well, which rose by 569 taking the total to 2,921. He said that he was back ‘redoubled’ in his determination to fight the virus.
He also informed, “During the last week we have completed a whole new hospital, the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, built in nine days. This has been an incredible achievement”.
Furthermore, he went on to explain a point-by-point plan to enhance the testing capabilities to ensure that the NHS staff are prioritised for the process in order to be able to carry on their work to fight against the disease. He also announced that 45 million pieces of Person Protective Equipment (PPE) were delivered across the health services. He said that more than five million aprons, and nearly six million surgical masks were delivered.
I’ll stop at nothing to protect frontline staff in our #coronavirus battle. Just yesterday, 45 million pieces of protective equipment were delivered across health and social care. pic.twitter.com/CEZ91gErqZ— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 2, 2020
He said, “Our ultimate goal is that anyone who needs a test shall have one”.
Moreover, in a ‘landmark’ move, the UK government also announced that more than GBP 13 billion of debt accused by NHS will be wiped in a bid to enable the health services to respond better to the pandemic and also to ensure that it is better prepared in the long-term. With that, Hancock also announced that £300 million will be available for community pharmacies as the government supports their vital work of getting medicines to people across the nation.
Meanwhile, in a bid to support the economy, UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled an ‘unprecedented’ wage boost. As per reports, Sunak announced that the UK government will be paying 80 per cent of wages for employees who are not working. The new measure is the ‘first time in the history’ that the UK government will step in and pay people’s wages.