At least 621 new deaths were recorded as of May 2 due to the COVID-19 that pushed the cumulative toll to 28,131, whereas cases surged to a total of 182,260, only second after worst-impacted Italy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly said that the country was “past the peak” phase of the novel coronavirus and his administration would reveal a “road map” to ease confinement measures — “but not yet”.
UK’s house minister, Robert Jenrick, told the press briefing that the moment to ease restrictions and restore normalcy across the UK has not yet come. Further, he added, the public must remain under lockdown exempting the essential groceries and pharmacies movement, or in rare cases to exercise. As many as 106,000 tests were conducted on May 1, Jenrick said, when the overall death toll surged mid-week at all settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, and the community, he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Johnson announced the three-week lockdown to curb the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 disease, shuttering the “non-essential” business operations, and imposing a ban on assembly of two or more people, according to reports. With over 1.5 million deaths in Europe, over 85% of the total deaths in many countries in the region began to ease the restrictions and reopen the economy, except for the UK.
Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK, Patrick Vallance, told the COVID-19 news conference that the figures of hospital admissions and patients under intensive care decelerated, and death rate slumped compared to early April. He said, most crucially, the disease’s reproduction rate — number of people each patient with the COVID-19 disease infected — was now below 1. Further, he added that in some parts of the UK, the infection rate was staggering between 0.6 and 0.9 in positive development.
“We’ve come under what could have been a vast peak and we can now see the sunlight and pasture ahead of us,” UK’s PM Johnson said. “And so it is vital that we do not now lose control and run slap into a second and even bigger mountain.” Chris Hopson, who heads NHS Providers, an umbrella group for U.K. hospitals told the press briefing that the hospitals were planning a route to go about in terms of the testing regime over the next six, eight, 10, 12 weeks as the country comes out of lockdown in a comprehensive phases layout.