Friday, May 15, latest;
Health Secretary Matt Hancock led the Friday briefing, in which he outlined plans for a £600m funding boost for the social care sector, after the government came under fierce criticism this week for acting too slowly to contain the spread of the virus in care homes.
It comes after data revealed that more than a quarter of all care home deaths in England and Wales since the beginning of the crisis involved Covid-19. The Health Secretary announced that all care home residents and staff in England will be tested for Covid-19 by early June.
The UK’s R rate was revealed to be still dangerously close to one, having risen in the past week to between 0.7 and 1, bringing lockdown-easing moves into question.
The latest data from Sage is based on the levels of transmission from two to three weeks ago, and as an R value above 1 means the epidemic will start to grow exponentially again, it has caused uncertainty around whether England should be easing its lockdown restrictions just yet.