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12 April 2020

Daily briefing with Matt Hancock and Yvonne Doyle – new NHS contact tracing app

Summary

In his statement, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock includes these key points. He updates on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's condition as he is discharged from hospital. The government is working constantly through its COVID-19 action plan. Today marks a 'sombre day' as the UK joins the list of countries seeing more than 10,000 deaths related to COVID-19. Matt Hancock provides an update on testing figures and deaths. He says that the public is 'making a difference' by following social distancing rules. He updates on hospital capacity and says there are currently 2,295 'spare' critical care beds. Throughout the crisis 'we have always been able to provide the very best of care to everybody who needs it through the NHS'. At the start of the crisis, people said the NHS would be overwhelmed – but we have not seen that happen. There is more spare capacity in critical care now than there was before COVID-19.

Hancock also updates on ventilator numbers and numbers of staff returning. The supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is increasing and there are now 'record amounts' in the system. The government is also working on the supply of medicines. He updates on progress against the PPE plan and thanks businesses for coming forward to support supply.

Matt Hancock also updates on testing and announces a new NHS app to support contact tracing. The app is currently being tested with world-leading experts. He says, 'Today I wanted to outline the next step: a new NHS app for contact tracing. If you become unwell with the symptoms of coronavirus, you can securely tell this new NHS app and the app will then send an alert anonymously to other app users that you’ve been in significant contact with over the past few days, even before you had symptoms, so that they know and can act accordingly.'

Source(s)

Gov.uk speech

Gov.uk policy paper – slides and dataset