Coronavirus cases ‘plateau’ in UK as ventilators near production | Politics News


The first batch of British-made ventilators to treat coronavirus patients will be rolled out to the NHS next week, Michael Gove has said.

Thousands of them are going into production to bolster the 8,000 already deployed in hospitals, he announced.

Lots of countries are trying to source the essential machines, which provide oxygen for people suffering lung failure in severe COVID-19 cases.

Undated handout photo issued by Smiths Medical of a Smiths Medical's ParaPac Plus ventilator, as the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium is helping to upscale the production of them to help in the fight against Covid-19. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday March 30, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus Ventilators. Photo credit should read: Smiths Medical/PA Wire..NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
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Ventilators are key to treating people with COVID-19

Mr Gove reassured the public that ventilators have been bought in from abroad to tackle the pandemic and that the first wave manufactured in the UK will roll off the production line by the end of this weekend.

He tried to keep pressure up on people to stay at home to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus, calling the latest daily deaths rise of 393 “deeply shocking”.

A medical staff member tests an NHS worker for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 at a drive-in facility set up in the carpark of Chessington World of Adventures in Chessington, Greater London on March 28, 2020. - Britain on March 24 said it will open a 4,000-bed field hospital at a London exhibition centre to treat coronavirus cases in the latest measure to tackle the outbreak after the government ordered a nationwide lockdown. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
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There has been a ‘bit of a plateau’ in coronavirus infections

Asked when lockdown measures might end, the Cabinet Office minister said: “There’s not a fixed date like Easter when you know that the peak will come, it depends on the actions of all of us.

“We can delay that peak, we can flatten the curve through our own particular actions.”



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But NHS England’s medical director Professor Stephen Powis said a “bit of a plateau” in coronavirus infections could be “green shoots”.

“It is really important not to read too much because it is really early days,” he cautioned at the daily Downing Street briefing.



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“We are not out of the woods, we are very much in the woods.

“So green shoots but only green shoots and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal.”

Some 10,767 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus in England, with 3,915 of those in London and 1,918 in the Midlands, where hospital admissions are accelerating.

Prof Powis said the overall signs were that the “Great British public” were heeding social distancing advice and reducing contact.

A car travels along the almost deserted M3 motorway near Fleet, south west of London on March 29, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Saturday the coronavirus outbreak will get worse before it gets better, as the number of deaths in Britain rose 260 in one day to over 1,000. The Conservative leader, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 this week, issued the warning in a leaflet being sent to all UK households explaining how their actions can help limit the spread. "We know things will get worse before they get better," Johnson wrote. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Prof Powis praised the public for heeding the lockdown

England’s deputy chief medical officer also apologised at the briefing for saying the government had sorted a problem repeatedly raised by medics about a lack of Personal Protective Equipment [PPE], such as masks and gloves.

Dr Jenny Harries said: “I have to admit, I stood here about 10 days ago and said – very probably optimistically in the past – ‘we’ve solved the PPE position’.

“So my apologies because 48 hours later our distribution issue had popped back in again.

“The distribution element has been a bit tricky at times.”



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Thousands of frontline NHS staff wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson pleading for the equipment after two consultants were put on ventilators after contracting coronavirus from infected patients.

Medical dramas Holby City and Casualty have even had to prepare to send real doctors’ their medical equipment.



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