BRITAIN’S chief nurse has begged the public to stay at home and save lives as actions “will have consequences”.
Ruth May urged Brits not to flout the coronavirus lockdown measures this weekend as the country’s death toll rose to 980 today.
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Ms May said it was “personally frustrating” as a nurse to see people flouting the strict lockdown rules and socialising in large groups today as pictures emerged of people in parks and visiting beaches.
She added: “It’s enormously frustrating, there’s also still occasions where my colleagues are getting abuse from their neighbours for driving off to work.
“Our nurses need to be able to get to work, but I ask of everyone please stay at home, save lives and protect my staff.”
Ms May also paid tribute to NHS frontline staff who have died from contracting the killer bug.
She told No10’s daily briefing: “Of course nurses, healthcare assistants, midwives, and other NHS staff are now among the victims of this coronavirus. Some have lost their lives.
“The NHS is a family and we feel their loss deeply.”
At the same press conference, Matt Hancock told Brits that we owe it to the NHS to stay at home over the Easter weekend.
The Health Secretary urged the public not to flock to the coast and countryside as medics are “battling day and night to keep desperately sick people breathing”.
Mr Hancock said that fighting coronavirus was a “national effort” where “every person can play their part.”
“This is the time of the year when people come together, but however warm weather we need everyone to stay at home”, he said.
“In hospitals NHS staff are battling day and night to keep desperately sick people breathing. They need you to stay at home.”
Mr Hancock also added that “the best way to protect yourself is to stay at home because a front door is better than any face mask.”
Mr Hancock also revealed how NHS workers will be able to order PPE from an “Amazon-style” online delivery portal.
Unveiling the Government’s new PPE plan, he said it has three strands including guidance, distribution and supply.
Mr Hancock explained: “I can announce that over the next three weeks we’re rolling out an online portal, allowing primary care and social care a system so that they can request from a central inventory, and this will mean that we can track demand in real time, and deliver according to need.
“This Herculean effort of enormous operational complexity, to get the right piece of equipment to the right person at the right moment – I pay tribute to the enormous efforts of all those who are making it happen.”
He said the government was doing “everything in our power” to get the equipment out to those who need it.
“We’ve so far delivered 742million pieces of PPE but it’s a task that needs constant effort.
“The critical thing is that people use PPE like the precious resource that it is and we get PPE to them so it always given when needed.
“What I can tell you is that the team that are trying to deliver on this have put in enormous effort, we are getting PPE out there but there is clearly huge task ahead.”
This afternoon it was announced that England’s coronavirus death toll has jumped by 866 in the last 24 hours – making it the biggest rise so far as the total number of deaths nears 9,000.
NHS England said the patients were aged between 27 and 100 – including 56 with no underlying health conditions.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has urged Brits to stay indoors over Easter as the government launches a publicity drive telling the public to adehere to the lockdown measures.
Meanwhile the government has hit back at “heavy handed” cops and told shops they can sell whatever they want after police snoop trollies.
Downing Street said stores are “free to sell what they stock” after officers from Cambridge Police patrolled “non-essential aisles” for shoppers.
It’s still too early to lift the measures that we put in place. We must stick to the plan and we must continue to be guided by the science.
A No10 spokesman said today:”We set out a list of shops which would remain open, and If they are open they are free to sell what they stock, providing it is legal to do so.”
Speaking at the No10 daily press conference yesterday, Mr Raab said there were signs social distancing measures were having an impact.
He said: “The deaths are still rising and we haven’t yet reached the peak of the virus. So it’s still too early to lift the measures that we put in place.
“We must stick to the plan and we must continue to be guided by the science.”
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, said measures were “breaking transmission” of the disease with signs of a “flattening off” in the numbers of new cases and hospital admissions.
However, he warned the numbers of deaths would continue to rise for a “few weeks” and that it was too soon to relax social-distancing.
“It is incredibly important that we continue to do what we are doing,” he said.
The chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said that while the numbers admitted to intensive care had been doubling every three days, that had now slowed.
“This is really now becoming not quite flat, but the doubling time is now six or more days in almost everywhere in the country and extending in time,” he said.
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