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NHS boss hails coronavirus 'green shoots' as UK registers record number of daily deaths

2 min read

A senior NHS boss has said there are "green shoots" that the UK's approach to tackling the coronavirus outbreak may be helping to slow its spread across the country.

Stephen Powis, the clinical director of NHS England, spoke out as Britain registered its highest daily rise in the number of people killed by Covid-19.

A total of 1,808 people have now died from the disease, up 393 on 24 hours previously.

But speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Mr Powis pointed to data showing the number of people being newly diagnosed with the illness was slowing down.

However, he said it was vital that people stuck to the social distancing measures introduced by the Government last week to prevent the outbreak getting out of control.

He said: "You can see that we have had a rise in the number of UK cases, but recently there’s a bit of a plateau.

"It’s important not to read too much into this. It’s early days, we’re not out of the woods, we’re very much in the woods, and it’s really important that we keep complying with those instructions.

"But the number of infections is not rising as rapidly as it was, so green shoots, but only green shoots, and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal."

Mr Powis was backed by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who said: "Stephen is right, there are some signs - as a result of people observing social distancing - that we may be able to flatten the spread of infection.

"But now is absolutely not the time for people to imagine that there can be any relaxation or flattening.

"This is a hopeful sign but we must be wary of over-interpreting any individual day’s data. We must ensure that we maintain this united national effort in order to keep people safe.

"People’s sacrifices are worth it, they are making a difference, but we must not let up."


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