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Health & Wealth

Today’s Press briefing: lockdown extended for further three weeks

Government 'reviewing impact of virus on BAME communities' all in Todays press breifing

The UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures will be extended for at least three more weeks, First Secretary of State Dominic Raab has announced.

The daily press conference was given by the first secretary of state, Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the prime minister as he continues his recovery from coronavirus.

He was joined by the chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser. Here’s what they told us:

The rate of infection in the community is now likely to be below one (meaning on average each infected person passes the virus to fewer than one other people) – but it may be higher in other settings, such as care homes. Some scientists and commentators have said the public will need to have social distancing measures in place until a vaccine is available.

The foreign secretary says he understands people have been comparing the UK’s actions with other countries, but the government will “make decisions at the right time” for us.

He continues: “I appreciate the impact is considerable on people and businesses across the country.

“We get it, we know it is rough going. Every time I come to this lectern and read out the grim toll, I walk away and think of their sons and daughters going through this right now, their brothers, sisters, grandchildren, all those left behind.

The UK’s lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks, as the government aims to avoid a second peak in infections

The number of new cases is stabilising, and perhaps starting to fall. The same is true of hospital admissions. This will only continue if the public continues with social distancing

The government is conducting a review of whether people from non-white backgrounds are disproportionately affected by a coronavirus, but it is not yet certain that this is the case

The public should continue to use A&E for non-coronavirus emergencies, as there is adequate capacity

New York lockdown extended until 15 May

“We’re opening up our country,” said US President Donald Trump as he unveils phased guidelines for ending lockdown. But New York’s lockdown measures will be extended until 15 May, the governor has said.

Andrew Cuomo said that experts would determine when the state could re-open. He said the decision would not be “political” or “emotional”.

“Data and science. We’re talking about human lives here,” he said.

President Trump also said some states in “very good shape” will be able to reopen “literally tomorrow”, without specifying which ones, But White House task force expert Dr Anthony Fauci warned the virus could rebound, adding: “It’s not game over”.

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