LiveCoronavirus in UK live blog: latest as UK government exceeds 100k a day testing target

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Friday, 1st May 2020, 7:53 am
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 5:55 pm

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

Residents in a Brighton seafront apartment block join in the Clap for Our Carers in support of the NHS on April 30 in Brighton (Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, May 1

Last updated: Friday, 01 May, 2020, 18:06

That concludes today's coronavirus live blog. 

We will be back at 8am on Monday with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. 

The government is now under scrutiny over whether they have moved the goalposts on the testing target. 

Early in April, Number 10 tweeted the following:

Today's figures show that just 73,191 people received tests, though some of them received multiple tests. 

That concludes today's daily press briefing

Powis says UK government absolutely recognises that BAME are being disproportionately impacted. 

Says it is important to understand why it is that BAME are being impacted. That work is ongoing. 

Newton adds that the effects are relatively small though very important. Virus is present in different rates in different parts of the country. Important to look at all of these figures closely. 

Some ethnic groups have more underlying health conditions, says Newton. 

Powis says it is important to say that we don't need to wait for data to offer additional support. 

Says local healthcare leaders have been asked to offer any support necessary to BAME communities. 

The trio are asked whether it would make sense for Northern Ireland to be eased out of lockdown sooner and whether it would be better for them to align with the Republic of Ireland. 

Hancock says that he “sees the case that could be made”. 

Ultimately the R across the UK has followed a similar trend. 

Hancock says it is too early to speculate whether families can plan ahead for holidays in late summer, no matter how tempting. 

On over 70s being treated as one broad category, Hancock says there is a very specific group that are being asked to shield. 

On deprived areas feeling a greater impact, Hancock says it is something that the government are looking into. 

Newton is chased up on how tests are counted. 

He says the great majority are counted when they leave the majority. Hancock says this is all set out on 

The trio are asked how many were home testing kits that haven't yet been returned. 

Newton breaks down the numbers. He says 27,427 home kits delivered, 12,872 delivered through the satellite process. 

Powis are then asked about transmission in children. 

He says that if a children is symptomatic there's no reason to think that they wouldn't spread the disease. He says what's more important is to learn whether asymptomatic children are able to spread the disease. Evidence is still emerging. 

Newton then says a South Korean study on whether a person can transmit coronavirus a second time are very promising. 

Hancock is then asked about how the government plans to expand testing after they met their goal. 

He says that by expanding testing patients can be treated better. 

He says that the plan is to continue to expand capacity. 

Using capacity in the best way possible is important, will be used to tackle epidemic in care home. 

Newton says that roll out of testing at home will be very helpful for contact tracing. 

The trio are taking questions now. 

First one from the public.

One asks whether parents will be punished if they don't let their kids return to school when measures lift. Hancock says he's confident that the government will only do that when it's safe. Reiterates that children are less badly affected by the disease. 

Powis is speaking now. 

He begins by underlining the five tests the UK must pass before moving out of lockdown. 

He says 45% of adults in employment are now working from home. 

The number of cases has increased in recent day but that should be seen in the context of more tests, according to Powis. 

Numbers of people in hospital falling, critical care bed occupation falling, deaths falling (according to 7 day rolling average). 

John Newton is speaking now. 

He says early access to limitless testing wouldn't have made a difference. 

Levels of testing have not kept us in lockdown a day longer than necessary according to Newton. 

He says that though Germany had high testing, they didn't have as big an outbreak. 

“Looking to the future we now have a substantial and flexible level of testing” which can assist with the next stage of the pandemic. 

Testing capability is world leading in its scale and sophistication according to Newton. 

He pays tribute to team who carried out “audacious goal”. 

“So many people have played a part”. 

“Everybody worked together with grit and determination to reach a shared goal”. 

“When things went wrong… we didn't ask who we could blame, we asked how we could fix it”. 

He explains that a big increase in testing allows us to unlock the coronavirus puzzle. 

Test, track and trace model will drive down infection rate. 

This will “get R down and hold R down”.

UK government meets testing goal

Matt Hancock is speaking now. 

He starts with “some positive news” saying that fertility treatment at NHS centres has now resumed. 

Sobering news of 739 more deaths follows.

This is tempered by the news that the UK government has comfortably met its target of 100,000 tests per day. Hancock says 122,347 goals were carried out yesterday.

Matt Hancock is speaking now.

He is joined by Professor John Newton and Professor Steve Powis. 

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