BORIS Johnson promised an extensive plan to end the lockdown would come next week – as Britain is now “past the peak” of the virus.
Giving his first Covid-19 briefing since falling ill to the disease himself five weeks ago, Johnson said the UK was “past the peak” and “on the downward slope.”
Johnson said that another 674 people with the coronavirus had died in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings over the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 26,711. It is the third-highest official toll in the world, behind the United States and Italy.
The government is facing criticisms over its failure to test widely in the early stage of the outbreak and the lack of protective equipment for health care workers. It has admitted it will not reach its target of 100 000 virus tests a day, which it set for May 1.
However, the number of daily tests shot up from just over 52,000 to 81,611 on Wednesday, the prime minister revealed.
“It did very much feel he was claiming some level of victory at this event. It’s the first time he’s given the briefing in the five weeks since he was first infected himself by the coronavirus and hospitalised,” journalist Tadhg Enright told Euronews.
“But already we’re hearing from the opposition Labour Party and its relatively new leader Sir Keir Starmer saying that it is inevitable that there will be a public enquiry into whether the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has cost lives.”