Friday, 27 Nov 2020

Boris Johnson to hold coronavirus TV press conference today as lockdown begins

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Boris Johnson will hold a TV press conference alongside NHS England boss Simon Stevens today as the country goes into lockdown for a second time.

The Prime Minister is expected to speak at 5pm from Downing Street about the extremely concerning number of hospitalisations and soaring coronavirus infection rates across England.

He will be joined by Mr Stevens, who told BBC Radio 4 the country has "22 hospitals worth" of coronavirus patients after "a very substantial" increase in admissions.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today Programme on November 4, he said the NHS is treating a number of desperately sick people which had rocketed from 2,000 at the beginning of October to just under 11,000 as of Wednesday.

Sir Simon said the NHS wants to "minimise" coronavirus "spiralling out of control" so other services are not disrupted.

He said: "We began early September with under 500 coronavirus patients in hospitals. By the beginning of October that had become 2,000. As of today that is just under 11,000.

"So, put another way, we’ve got 22 hospitals’ worth of coronavirus patients across England. And indeed, even since Saturday, when the Prime Minister gave his press conference, we filled another two hospitals full of severely ill coronavirus patients."

He added: "We fully expect that will continue to be the case, and indeed the action Parliament is considering today will mean not only that, but should mean that we will not need to embark on a national deferral of routine operations across the country and instead will continue with targeted local decisions based on the particular pressures individual hospitals and geographies are facing."

Sir Simon promised to get GP practices across the country "geared up" by Christmas if the vaccine is available by then, but said it is likely "one or more" will become "available from the first part of next year."

  • Second lockdown will end by Christmas but Tier system may be toughened, experts warn

The stark figures come as Brits begin a month-long second lockdown in England in a bid to control the virus and keep the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Mr Johnson announced the lockdown on Halloween, two days earlier than planned, after an internal leak led to information being published in three key national newspapers.

Speaking from Downing Street, he told the country a second lockdown was vital and introduced measures similar to that in the March lockdown.

From November 5 to December 2, Brits will not be allowed to leave there homes except for specific reasons and all non-essential businesses, including retail shops, restaurants, pubs and bars will be closed.

  • Boris Johnson
  • NHS
  • Coronavirus

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