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  • I want to tell you where we got two in our national fight back against Corona, the Corona virus.

  • Today, the scientific advisory group for emergencies met to discuss the latest evidence on the spread of the virus on the effects of the measures we have already taken to slow its spread.

  • And Patrick is gonna update us in a second.

  • About that, I want to repeat that everyone, everyone must follow the advice to protect themselves and their families, but also more importantly, to protect the wider public.

  • So stay it home for seven days.

  • If you think you have the symptoms, remember the two key symptoms high temperature, a continuous new cough, whole household to stay at home for 14 days.

  • If one member of that household think so, he she has the symptoms avoid a ll are necessary.

  • Gatherings, pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, theaters and so work from home.

  • If you can wash your hands, Onda, we were already announced in the last few days.

  • We will massively scale up our testing capacity in the weeks ahead so that we hit 25,000 tests a day.

  • Huge public information campaign is being rolled out.

  • So people get all the information they need.

  • We need to protect ourselves.

  • And others were asking retired health care professionals to come back and help us cope.

  • Help me in inches.

  • To cope with this unprecedented challenge on dhe, we will continue, as we have from the beginning, to do the right thing at the right time and to follow the best scientific advice on dhe.

  • We come today to the key issue off schools where we've Bean consistently advised that there is an important trade off on Dhe.

  • So far, the judgment of our advisers has bean that closing schools is actually of limited value in slowing the spread of the epidemic.

  • And that's partly because, counterintuitive these schools actually very safe environments.

  • And in this disease and this epidemic, Children on DDE young people are much less vulnerable.

  • And hitherto, the advice has bean that we should keep schools open if possible in order to reduce the pressure on the N HS and on on all other public service is.

  • But I think you'll agree that I've always been very clear that this is a balanced judgment on one that we've kept under constant review.

  • So, looking at the curve of the disease.

  • Looking at where we are now, we think now that we must apply downward pressure further downward pressure on that upward curve by closing the school so I can announce today.

  • And Gavin Williamson is making a statement now in that in the House of Commons that after school's shut their gates from Friday afternoon, they will remain closed for most pupils for the vast majority of pupils.

  • Until further natures and I'll come toe, I'll explain what I mean by the vast majority of people's.

  • The objective is to slow the spread of the virus, and as I say, we judge it.

  • This is the right moment to do that.

  • But of course, as I've always said, we also need to keep the n hs going on to treat the rising number of cases.

  • So we need health workers who are also parents to continue to goto work, and we need other critical workers with Children to keep doing their jobs to from police officers who are keeping us safe to the supermarket delivery.

  • Driver's social care workers who look after the elderly and who are so vital will be setting out Maur details shortly about who we mean whom we mean in these groups.

  • So we therefore need schools to make provisions for the Children of these key workers who would otherwise be forced to stay home.

  • And they also need to look after the most vulnerable Children.

  • This will mean that there would be far fewer Children in the schools, and that will help us to slow the spread of the disease.

  • And these measures are crucial to make sure that the, as I say the critical parts of the economy keep functioning and public service is keep functioning.

  • So we're simultaneously asking nurseries on dhe private schools to do the same.

  • Andi, we're providing financial support where it's needed.

  • We're making provisions to supply meals and vouchers for Children eligible for free school meals and where some schools are already doing this.

  • I want to make it clear that we will reimburse the cost.

  • And of course, this does mean that exams will not take place is planned in May and June, though we will make sure that people's get the qualifications they need and deserve for their academic career.

  • Now I know that the steps will not be easy for parents or for teachers, and for many parents this will be frustrating and it will make it harder for them to go out to work.

  • And of course, that's one of the reasons that we haven't wanted todo ahead on.

  • That's why we're now working on further measures to ensure that we support not just businesses, but also individuals and their families to keep our economy going.

  • As Richie Soon at the chancellor outlined yesterday, I also need to remind parents, as we've already advised, that Children should not be left with older grandparent's or older relatives who may be particularly vulnerable to fall into some of the vulnerable groups.

  • And I want to under that's gonna be difficult to, and I want to thank families for their sacrifice at this difficult time and I want to thank the whole country for the efforts that people are making to comply with these measures.

  • I particularly thank teachers head teachers, A ll, the support staff who keep schools going who are going to be able to make these exceptional arrangements work for the benefit of us all by looking after the Children of key workers, they will be a critical part of our fight back against Corona virus and as I've said, we will take the right steps at the right time.

  • Guided by the science, we believe that steps we've already taken together with those I'm announcing today are already slowing the spread of the disease.

  • But we will not hesitate to go further and faster in the days and weeks ahead on, we will do whatever it takes so that we beat it together.

  • And I'm not going to faceted toe Patrick to give an update from SAGES point of you.

  • Thank you.

  • Overriding consideration has always saved lives protect the most vulnerable people from this illness.

  • The vast majority of people have a mild illness, but some get a very severe illness.

  • The measures that were announced a couple of days ago, we already know a taking effect in terms of behavior so we can see that already that people are actually taking that very seriously and have made a difference and that's really important to carry on with that.

  • But the thing we must protect in order to achieve those AIDS off saving lives and protecting people is to make sure that the n H s intensive care capacity on the ventilator capacity is not breached.

  • That's what we need to keep looking at making sure we do not get to a position where that's breached.

  • As this moves fast, my alluded to this on Monday.

  • More measures will be needed to make sure that happens.

  • And right from the beginning we said schools or one of the things you could do, but they're less important than some of the others that have been taken.

  • But we now think with a stage where this extra bit is an important measure to make sure we stay under that critical protecting the N.

  • H S I.

  • C.

  • U invents late capacity.

  • So that's the reason for now saying that this should go ahead at this time.

  • It's important to stress, and this is really critical.

  • It's not because schools are dangerous places for Children.

  • They're not.

  • Children have a very mild or asymptomatic version of this disease in many cases, so they are the least at risk.

  • It's also not the dangerous place for teachers.

  • The reason for this is because of the effect it could have just to knock down further the transmission.

  • The put some delay into the system.

  • Put some breaks into the system off the transmission of this disease to bring it down, to protect those people who might get a much more serious version and end up in intensive care on a ventilator.

  • So that's the reason now it's important time to do it.

  • It's not instead off, and it can't supplement the other measures.

  • The other measures are crucially important on.

  • We all have our part to play to make sure that we may make those measures as effective as possible to try to drive us right down and make sure we stay below that critical threshold.

  • Thank you.

  • Thanks so much, Patrick Jenny, from your point of view.

  • So I think nothing very much further to add to those points.

  • Exactly, Practices explained.

  • This is not a change in the scientific position, which we have always taken forward.

  • It is very much a practical response at a critical time is both prime Minister and Sir Patrick has indicated, but very happy to answer any clinical questions that comes Okay, Axl.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Jenny, Let's let's go.

  • Let's go straight to to you and for your questions on this.

  • Beth really?

  • Sky news.

  • Um, Prime Minister, Just in terms of further measures, 1/3 of the deaths and now in the capital of London buses is still full.

  • The tubes of full bars of for London is not listening to your advice.

  • You shut the schools today.

  • When will we see wider enforcement to shut down London?

  • Properly on?

  • If I may, Just on the antibodies test.

  • After quite difficult days and frightening news, something a bit more encouraging today.

  • You talked about getting closer to an antibodies test to tell us whether people have had the virus.

  • When will it be ready?

  • On what sort of impact would it have?

  • Could it be a game changer in helping us manage this disease and keep in our emergency service is running.

  • Thank you.

  • Yeah.

  • Well, Beth, thank you very much.

  • And look, we've always said that we're gonna We're gonna do the right measures at the right time.

  • That's what we That's what we've done on DDE in Actually think people, a lot of people are making a really heroic efforts to comply with the advice that we've given.

  • But a zay said tonight and in past few days, we keep everything under continuous review, and we will not hesitate to bring forward further and faster measures where we think that is that is necessary.

  • But on the on the antibodies, so to time to test how important the test to say.

  • Have you got the active virus?

  • And that's being rapidly scaled up by public health?

  • England.

  • And that's crucial importance knows actively got it at the moment.

  • The 2nd 1 is you allude to is the antibody test, which tells you whether you've had it on whether you've now got antibodies against it, and that's progressing very fast.

  • Public health England.

  • They're looking at this today, and they've got a test, which they got in the house, that they're going, and we're looking at ways to get a much more widespread version of that out.

  • It is a game changer, and the reason it's a game changer is that it allows you to understand the proportion of the asymptomatic population who has had this disease but hasn't had symptoms that in any way significant on.

  • We don't have that number accurately for anywhere in the world at the moment, so we can get that number.

  • It starts to really help and going forward.

  • It's going to be in critically important that we have to monitor this disease well, because only binding it to monitor it.

  • Can we start relaxing measures again?

  • Start understanding what the effect of taking things off again at some point is so this is all part of a critical ability to manage.

  • This is an agile way going forward.

  • Well, just to say that, I think exactly, Sir Patrick has said it is actually not just our health work force.

  • It's our care, workforce as well.

  • And the other measures that we've introduced, particularly to protect the vulnerable when we have a match to work for it.

  • If you like, where we are clearly aware of their antibody status, whether they have had the disease and are therefore safe to work without vulnerable group, that increases our opportunities around our interventions.

  • And everybody can see the immense advantages with the thing about this.

  • This disease, it's an invisible enemy on.

  • We don't know who's transmitting it.

  • But the great thing about having a test to see whether you've had it or not is suddenly a green light goes on about your your head.

  • You can get, you can go back to work in the safe and confident in the knowledge that you're most unlikely to get it again.

  • So from an economic point of view, from a social point of view, as Sir Patrick says, it really could be a game changer.

  • It's important not to get ahead of ourselves, You know.

  • We're not there.

  • We're not there yet.

  • But, you know, you really can see the potential of that advance, which is a zay say, coming down the track.

  • Let's go to Laura Kuhns, both from the BBC.

  • Thanks very much for a minister.

  • You were very eager to avoid closing schools, if you possibly could.

  • But now you have taken that decision.

  • Families will wonder maybe more than anything else tonight.

  • How long these closures might last.

  • Can you give us any indication?

  • The Scottish government is suggested maybe six months until the summer holidays.

  • To the medics, If I may, you have touched on this Sir Patrick.

  • But in the simplest clearest of times, if schools are to be closed to slow the spread, why are they safe places for any child or any member of staff?

  • Well, on the on the duration.

  • Laura.

  • Obviously, we're going to try to keep it t in absolute minimum, a CZ you can imagine to keep trying on, get things going again as fast as we can.

  • But our judgment right now is that this is the moment to perfect to provide further downward pressure.

  • A cz I say on the upwards trajectory of the of the virus by taking taking that step for epidemiological reasons alone whilst doing what we can, as I said, to protect our ability to keep the n hs going by delivering care and education for the key workers.

  • We think this is the right moment.

  • Do I wish I could give you the answer by how long it will be, Laura.

  • But we've got to do it right now.

  • The two sets of measures, one are about making sure all of the all of us are protected, which is about reducing transmission.

  • Second is about protecting those people.

  • Most at risk of this falls into the category of the first.

  • It's about making sure that we stopped transmission.

  • Reduce transmission on Children are not getting the serious form of this illness.

  • They are very mild off today, symptomatic and therefore don't have a big risk around each other.

  • They also may not spread it as much.

  • We don't know that yet.

  • We don't know the exact spread of this.

  • It's not like influenza that that seems to be clearer.

  • But we don't know exactly how that works, so this is about a measure to protect all of us.

  • It's not a measure because there's some specific risk to Children.

  • Thanks you just to say that all you see are the whole approach is to reduce the social contact throughout society and we have taken the measures which maximize the impact to health and safety whilst minimizing those to the way that we live.

  • This measure moves that on a small amount.

  • As we've said, that is a Sir, Patrick said.

  • It is not to do with the safety of the Children.

  • It's simply about a background level of the numbers of social contacts that we have.

  • Thanks.

  • She had Carli TV Prime Minister.

  • You mentioned that exams will now be counseled.

  • There will be plenty of students who are about and preparing to take their juicy sees on dhe a levels their college six form places.

  • They're university places and job offers will be contingent on those exams.

  • What measures are you taking on that?

  • Also, if I may, you mentioned you want to increase the number of tests to 25,000 day.

  • Will people still need to go to hospital to take those tests, Especially if they're not showing symptoms?

  • What do you advise people to do?

  • Okay, we'll share.

  • Thanks very much.

  • First of all, on all exams and on, you know, the ambitions, the hopes of students, people in our in our school.

  • I I totally understand people's frustrations of frustrations, of parents who are gonna feel now that they have to stay at home.

  • And as I said earlier, we're gonna make sure that we look after workers of all kinds.

  • But when it comes to kids in their and their exam qualifications, we will make sure that they are not impeded.

  • Their progress is not impeded as a result of the decisions were having to take now about their schools.

  • So they will get We will make sure that in time they get the qualifications they need.

  • I don't want to go indeed about when and how those qualifications will be administered, but it will be done fairly, Andi, in order to protect their interests.

  • Do you get on that?

  • I think whether there's a very good question about where we share bossed about, you know where the testing would take place.

  • And I mean, the judge, I think it's a lot of progress we're gonna be making on that.

  • But there's a lot.

  • I mean at the moment.

  • The testing is about people in hospital with respiratory illness, people in intensive care units.

  • It's about outbreaks in in an area, and it's about making sure that we can test those who are most vulnerable or need a particular particular protection.

  • Now, as you get more tests, of course, you can roll out more more people under those categories, and it's important that we don't know where up with everyone coming to hospital to be tested for all the reasons we've talked about before.

  • So as the increase in capacity comes online, there will be ways of testing which don't require people to go to hospital.

  • I don't know, Jenny, you understand more about USOC that reflects.

  • I think, the position that we're in a moment which steeped up our current testing capacity moving towards 25,000 today under another group in that is very much as we start putting on the question that best Razor do is about actually acknowledging that we need to retain Andi know that we are using safe clinical staff.

  • So that's another group and excuse me, but as we go forward, we will be very much having ambition.

  • Thio have some sort of home base tests for the very reason which has been described here, which is we don't want it potentially infectious people arriving in hospitals.

  • But we recognize that the public, and particularly our key workers wanted to understand their health status so that they come back, get back to normal activities.

  • So a lot of work on that ongoing and I think huge brokers made in the last few weeks.

  • Thanks.

  • I go Jim Picard down years.

  • Jim Picard.

  • Thank you, Jim.

  • Prime Minister, you've got the emergency legislation coming out tomorrow and it's reported that there's a plan to lift the current cap on how much money you can invest in struggling industries.

  • Currently, a £12 billion.

  • Is that the case and does that signal there's gonna be another multibillion pound investment in industry such as airlines.

  • Well, I Jim, thanks very much.

  • A cz The chancellor said yesterday we're gonna hear he outlined a big package of £330 billion by which the government will stand behind cos a CZ.

  • They go through things tough time, stand behind their their lenders, make sure that we keep their lenders going.

  • Andi, there is already a big packages, as you know, about 20 billion to support business directly in cash terms.