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Hancock provides update on testing as lockdown rules are eased

By Gareth Jones
01 June 2020

By Gareth Jones, Newgate Public Affairs

With no major new policy announcement today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock provided an update on testing and testing capacity. Hancock stressed that it is "incredibly important" that any people with symptoms - a cough, fever, or loss of sense and smell - get tested so the virus can be controlled through the new NHS test and trace service. He noted that 128,437 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, but said testing capacity was higher – with 206,444 tests available right now and he encouraged people come forward for tests.

Hancock then provided an update on infection and death rates, stating that there were 1570 cases confirmed yesterday (the lowest since 25 March) and 111 deaths in last 24 hours (which is the lowest figure since lockdown began). Hancock says this - and the other figures - shows that the UK's action plan is "working" and the UK "is winning the battle against the virus". This update comes as today marked changes to the lockdown rules, with schools reopening to more children and people able to meet friends and family outside and in gardens. 

Many of the questions focused on the test and trace. Hancock stressed that the system is up and running and successful. He noted that the system has more capacity (in terms of contact tracers) than we need, which “is a good thing.”