|Last night, the Prime Minister updated the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, confirming we have passed the peak and that next week he will set out a comprehensive plan to continue to suppress the disease while re-starting the economy.
|Thanks to the massive collective effort to shield the NHS, we have avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable worst-case scenario was 500,000 deaths.
We are now past the peak and on the downward trend, so next week the Government will set out a comprehensive plan to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get children back to school and into childcare, and how we can travel to work and make the workplace safer.
A huge amount of work is underway on that plan and the Government will always be guided by the science as it builds the maximum political consensus across all parties and across the UK.
This country has come together in a way few of us have seen in our lifetimes, to protect the NHS and save lives, and we must carry that forward into the next phase.
|There will be five key tests that we must satisfy before we can put the comprehensive plan for phase two into action:
|We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope – we must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
We need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
We need to be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
We need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.