Wednesday, April 15, latest;
Matt Hancock delivered today’s daily coronavirus press conference, and was joined by Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, and Prof Angela McLean, the UK’s deputy chief scientific adviser.
Hancock announced a new four-point social care plan to tackle the rising crisis of coronavirus in care homes, with more than 2,000 care homes suffering an outbreak of the virus so far – 13% of the total number of providers in the UK.
All social care workers will be tested for the virus, while patients being moved from hospital to care homes will be tested first. Also included is the ability for families to say goodbye to their relatives who are dying in care homes.
Hancock also seemed to hint that lockdown measures will be officially extended at a COBRA meeting tomorrow, urging that it was ‘too early’ to make changes. This came as Professor Whitty said that the UK is likely to be now reaching the peak of coronavirus cases. “At the moment we are not yet at the point where we can say confidently and safely this is now past the peak and we can start thinking very much about the next phases,” he said.
Hancock also announced a badge for Social care workers in recognition of their efforts and to be recognised in the same way as those of frontline NHS workers. The badge is to entitle them to privileged treatment including priority access to shops during the lockdown period, as the Government tries to quell mounting public concern at how the sector is coping with the coronavirus crisis.